Bitcoin prices tumbled over the weekend to reach levels seen early April. A hacking on a little-known exchange in South Korea is thought to have triggered the sharp fall that saw over $40 billion shaved off from the cryptocurrency market. Leading cryptocurrency bitcoin is currently trading at $6,674 on Bitfinex falling almost 7% since Sunday. It shed 10% of its value on Sunday.
Alternative coins have been hit harder. EOS which had been defying the downward trend for several days now dropped more than 15% against the US dollar in the last 24 hours. Its total market capitalisation now stands at $10 billion from over $13 billion on Friday.
Virtually all coins in the top 100 are in the red zone except Veritaseum, Theta Token and Tether which have gained 8.68%, 5% and 0.05% respectively in the last 24 hours.
Ethereum Hit Hard
The second largest virtual currency Ethereum is now trading at $534 a unit. It is one of the most hit coin since the start of the slump in January losing more than 50% of its value. Daily volumes on Bitfinex stand at $184.5 million, far less than EOS with $296 million traded in the last 24 hours.
Globally, about $2.2 billion worth of Ethereum was transacted according to data from CoinMarketCap.
Bitcoin’s dominance has been slightly bolstered to 39.1%. Bitcoin’s dominance usually increases when there is a general market slump and vice versa. That is because a significant number of investors still consider it a safer bet compared to other cryptocurrencies. Its total market capitalisation now stands at $116.5 billion.
Ethereum’s total market capitalisation is now placed at $53.4 billion.
Coinrail, a South Korean exchange tweeted it had been hacked and cryptocurrencies including little known PundiX stolen. Although no bitcoin was reported stolen, PundiX/BTC pairs are the most commonly traded.
Coinrail said 30% of its virtual currencies were lost although it did not give a specific amount. Trading has been suspended and the exchange says it is cooperating with police to track the lost tokens.
Reports that US regulators were investigating possible price manipulation could have also triggered the sell off. Bitstamp, Kraken and Coinbase are reportedly under investigation.