Things aren’t exactly rosy in the cryptocurrency world; particularly when it comes to Bitcoin. Over the weekend, South Korean cryptocurrency exchange Coinrail confirmed that it had been hacked. The site says that it was the victim of a “cyber intrusion” and that roughly 30 percent of the coins trades on the exchange were stolen.
Coinrail said the remaining 70 percent of coins were safeguarded and have been moved to a “cold wallet”. At this moment, it is believed that hackers got away with 40 billion won in Bitcoin, which amounts to $37.2 million.
Not surprisingly, this latest hack sent the price of Bitcoin tumbling, even though such hacks have become commonplace in the cryptocurrency realm. Bitcoin was trading at around $7,500 before news of the Coinrail hack broke. Today, it’s trading at around $6,700, which is a six-month low for the cryptocurrency.
If you recall, Bitcoin was on a steady rise during the latter half of 2017 before blasting off into the stratosphere in November. By mid-December, Bitcoin was trading at a high of just over $19,000. But since that all-time high, it’s been mostly downhill as new attacks, new regulations, and government crackdowns have taken their toll.
In addition, many communities have been hit hard by large-scale cryptocurrency mining operations that have moved into to take advantage of cheap utilities pricing. One New York town even instituted an 18-month ban on new commercial cryptocurrency mining operations. Plattsburgh, NY blamed the 24-7 mining operations for taking advantage of its 2 cents per kWh rates to completely ravage the town’s power resources, forcing it to purchase additional power at higher rates.
“I’ve been hearing a lot of complaints that electric bills have gone up by $100 or $200,” said Mayor Read in March. “You can understand why people are upset.”
Bitcoin miners have also wreaked havoc in the state of Washington, causing the power bills of innocent citizens to rise as electric utilities struggle to keep up with demand.