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Bitcoin swoons 10% after news of South Korea crypto exchange hack, leading a broad cryptocurrency selloff

  • Coinrail, a relatively small South Korean cryptocurrency exchange, tweeted over the weekend that it was hacked, according to Google Translate.
  • Bitcoin fell more than 10 percent to a low of $6,647.33, its lowest since April 9, according to CoinDesk's bitcoin price index.
  • The decline followed a report on Friday from The Wall Street Journal that U.S. regulators are investigating potential price manipulation at four major cryptocurrency exchanges.
Bitcoin
Dado Ruvic | Illustration | Reuters

Bitcoin tumbled more than 10 percent over the weekend to its lowest in two months, after a relatively small South Korean exchange said it was hacked.

Over the weekend, crypto exchange Coinrail tweeted that it was hacked, and noted that lesser-known cryptocurrencies such as Pundi X were among those affected, according to Google Translate. The Pundi X-bitcoin pair is the most-traded on Coinrail, CoinMarketCap data showed.

However, Coinrail's public statements did not mention bitcoin, according to Google Translate.

Nevertheless, Bitcoin hit a low of $6,647.33 on Sunday, its lowest since April 9, according to CoinDesk's bitcoin price index, and coincided with a broader crypto sell-off. The digital currency traded off those lows Monday afternoon, near $6,700.

The largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization remains about 50 percent lower for the year so far.

Bitcoin three-month performance

Source: CoinDesk

Other major cryptocurrencies also fell. Ethereum dropped more than 11 percent to near $533, according to CoinDesk.

The declines followed a report on Friday from The Wall Street Journal, citing sources, that U.S. regulators are investigating potential price manipulation at four major cryptocurrency exchanges: Bitstamp, Coinbase, itBit and Kraken.

"We support all market participants, exchanges, regulators in having a dialogue to enhance transparency and find common ground," Chad Cascarilla, CEO and co-founder of Paxos, which owns cryptocurrency exchange itBit, said in a statement. The three other cryptocurrency companies did not immediately respond to a CNBC request for comment on Sunday evening.

CME said exchanges contributing to its Bitcoin Reference Rate — which include the four above — are required to share information and cooperate with regulators. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission would not confirm or deny any investigative activity.

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