$50 Million Stolen from Upbit

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Prerna Sengupta
Prerna Sengupta is a writer for Thecoinrepublic. She is a law student at NALSAR University of Law, Hyderabad. She is interested in Tech Law and is especially keen on cryptocurrency, blockchain, and Bitcoin. She hopes to pursue this field in the future as a lawyer.

$50 Million Stolen from Upbit

  • Upbit, the second “Big Four” South Korean exchange announced a theft on Nov. 27. 342,000 Ether (ETH) which is tantamount to around $50 million was stolen from their hot wallet.
  • All trading on the platform has halted.
  • The transactions had been spotted by WhaleAlert, a service used to track sizable cryptocurrency transactions.

Upbit, the second “Big Four” South Korean exchange announced a theft on Nov. 27. 342,000 Ethereum (ETH) which is tantamount to around $50 million was stolen from their hot wallet.

Upbit is one of the biggest cryptocurrency exchanges in South Korea and was the only domestic platform to make a profit in 2018. It was propelled on October 24, 2017, with the assistance of their association with American digital money trade Bittrex.

Sergio Lee was named CEO of Dunamu, Upbit’s parent organization, on December 21, 2017, with Dunamu originator and CEO Chi-Hyung Song taking up the job of Chairman.

In September, they broke up their partnership with Bittrex in order to reorganize its ETH, Bitcoin (BTC) and Tether (USDT) markets. They have also invested in security measure being the first crypto exchange to obtain an information security management system license from the Korea Internet and Security Agency.

Post the theft, all trading on the platform had halted. People on social media were discussing how the transactions had been spotted by WhaleAlert, a service used to track sizable cryptocurrency transactions.

Initially, 342,000 ETH transactions were made to an unknown wallet followed by 10 identical transactions adding up to 100,000,000 TRX incoming from the exchange’s vault. An official statement was published by CEO, Lee Sergio

“At 1:06 PM on November 27, 2019, 342,000 ETH (roughly 58 billion won) were moved from the Upbeat Ethereum Hot Wallet to an obscure wallet. “


They also pledged to protect user assets and said that the expenses would be covered using corporate assets. Immediately after the theft, they transferred all the assets from their hot wallet to their cold storage.

Many analysts believe that the payments platform had been hacked suggesting that it was an inside job. Analysts are also of the opinion that the manner of the theft indicates that the person did not know a lot about the Ethereum network.

CEO Lee Sirgoo told me that they are currently working with KISA and National Police Agency Cyber Bureau to track down the hacker. He also confirmed that Duname and Upbit have enough funds to reimburse the stolen amount.

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