[THE INVESTOR] Yapian, the operator of local cryptocurrency exchange Youbit, which announced last month that it would file for bankruptcy following repeated cyberattacks, is now attempting to sell the firm, according to news reports on Jan. 11.
Youbit said on Dec. 19 that it would shut down and file for bankruptcy after it suffered its second cyberattack in eight months that wiped out 17 percent of users’ assets.
However, the company has yet to follow suit, and is currently negotiating with a buyer, according to the company.
Cryptocurrency exchange Youbit shuts down after cyberattack
Saying that it cannot survive alone, Yapian officially confirmed that it is considering merging with another firm that plans to launch its own digital currency exchange. The company said this could be a way to reduce losses for users. It also added that it had been talking with investors from mid-August about a deal to sell a 40 percent stake for 10 billion won, even before the latest cyberattack.
A Youbit user, who said he cannot withdraw his cash or digital coins from his account, called the move suspicious.
“I suspect executives are trying to avoid their responsibilities and make profits from the sale of the company. Why did they say there were filing for bankruptcy if they were thinking about selling the company?”
A cryptocurrency investor who uses other exchanges told The Investor that platforms like Youbit are dragging the name of other normal exchanges through the mud.
“If the government wants to crack down on the digital currency market, it should be targeting foul players like Youbit, and not the entire market.”
Youbit’s hacking is cited as one of the reasons the government decided to more strongly regulate the local cryptocurrency market late last year. The financial authorities have promised to look into exchanges to review their operations.
“Right now, because no one knows what’s going on at these cryptocurrency exchanges, we can’t determine the authenticity of the hackings,” Choi Jong-ku, chairman of Financial Services Commission, said this week.
Meanwhile, the National Tax Service have conducted raids on Bithumb, the largest exchange in Korea, and third-largest Coinone.
This comes on the day Justice Minster Park Sang-ki told reporters that the ministry is preparing a bill to ban cryptocurrency trading through exchanges in the country. His comments threw the digital currency markets into chaos.
Prices of most of the digital coins plummeted in the country, one of the largest markets in the world. Bitcoin, the most popular cryptocurrency, fell 20 percent to 17,971,000 won (US$16,713) as of 2:43 p.m. from the previous while Ethereum plunged 26 percent to 1,650,100 won.
By Park Ga-young (email@example.com