The incident comes just over a week after another South Korean crypto-currency exchange, Coinrail, reported that it had been the victim of a separate attack in which hackers had stolen 40bn won worth of virtual coins.
There are some reports that say they lost upwards of 35 billion won (or close to 32 million USD) after the hacking attack dust settled which does highlight the vulnerabilities of leaving your coins and tokens on exchanges when not actively trading them.
The exchange said it will compensate the loss from its own funds and that all customers' assets have been "securely saved" in the company's "cold wallet". At time of writing, cryptocurrency news service Coindesk recorded a almost 2 percent drop in Bitcoin value from Tuesday. Those stolen cryptocurrencies will be covered from Bithumb and all of assets are being transferring to cold wallet. Global policymakers have warned investors to be cautious in trading the digital currency given the lack of broad regulatory oversight.
In Ho, a professor at Korea University's Blockchain Research Institute, said the stolen coins were most likely to be from the more insecure 'hot wallets'.
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Bithumb is the second South Korean exchange to be hacked in the last month.
Bithumb did not immediately respond to Reuter's request for comments. It has suspended all services, including coin deposits and withdrawals. "It is held anonymously and in lightly-secured systems, which makes them an irresistible target", Mun said. In December 2017, Slovenian cryptocurrency marketplace NiceHash was hit by a cyber-attack which led to losses of $64m.
South Korea emerged past year as one of the world's major markets for trading in bitcoin and other virtual currencies.
Hackers also stole $500m worth of digital currencies from Japanese crypto exchange Coincheck in January, one of the biggest robberies in history.