Upbit, South Korea’s largest and most reputable exchange has been hacked and nearly $50 million worth of ether (ETH) has been stolen in what many are dubbing the “heist of 2019.”

The news was confirmed today at 9 am when Upbit’s CEO confirmed that the digital assets had been lost due to an “abnormal transaction”.

Upbit has since let the public know that all losses will be covered by its own digital reserve.

Withdrawals and deposits have been suspended and regular service will not be resumed for at least another two weeks.

According to the Whale Alert transaction tracker site, $49 million of eth were transferred at 04:00 UTC on Wednesday.


Source: @whale_alert@whale_alert Twitter feed, Nov. 27

In total 342,000 ether (eth) were stolen and these assets were also withdrawn shortly after;

– $8.7 million worth of Stellar Lumens (XLM)

– $22 million worth of EOS (EOS)

– $3.5 million worth of BitTorrent (BTT)

– $3.4 million worth of Status (SNT)

– $1.5 million worth of Tron (TRX)

– $1.08 million worth of OmiseGo (OMG)

In total, over $100 million of crypto-assets were moved from hot to cold wallets although Upbit were keen to stress that only the ETH withdrawal constituted “an abnormal outflow”.

The rest of the assets were apparently moved as a security measure although this is yet to be fully confirmed.

Many believe that this could be the work of an insider as it mirrors a similar heist that happened in late 2018 when another Korean exchange, Bithumb, was hacked for $31 million due once again to an “abnormal transaction.”

In May Binance was targeted by hackers and 7000 bitcoins were stolen worth $41 million.

Just last month, Bitpoint, a large Japanese exchange, lost $28 million.

The news of this latest hack has left the crypto world in shock and it underscores the need for a review on security measures across all exchanges worldwide.