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Global bitcoin

Enter the terms you wish to search for. The bankruptcy of a bitcoin exchange has been blamed on North Korean hackers, prompting concerns for the cryptocurrency’s future. 72 million worth of bitcoins were stolen from the South Korean exchange Youbit in April, before a second more recent cyber heist forced the exchange to shut down on Tuesday. Cryptocurrency exchanges from neighboring South Korea—which account for 15 to 25 percent of world bitcoin trading—appear global bitcoin be the main target of the hackers, with the country’s largest exchange platform, Bithumb, hacked in July.

Other Seoul-based bitcoin exchanges, including Yapizon and Coinis, have also been the target of cyber thieves suspected of being from North Korea this year. Clearly they have a large interest in cryptocurrencies as an easy method for economic gain, as well as an opportunity to economically weaken their enemies. The consequences of these cyber thefts could result in a crackdown from regulators on bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Andy Norton, director of threat intelligence at Lastline.

It’s like a black hole attracting bad actors and dirty money from all around the world. If North Korea are using it to avoid sanctions it could lead to a coordinated response by various governments to shut down access to those funds locked in bitcoin. Youbit, which resulted in the loss of 4,000 bitcoins, to hackers based in North Korea. Related: Was North Korea’s Bureau 121 hacking group behind internet attacks? This analysis reaffirmed claims by the CWIC Cyber Warfare Research Center in South Korea, which stated earlier this year that the rogue nation may be targeting the virtual currency in response to heavier economic sanctions.