- Major cryptocurrencies down between 5% and 10% on Wednesday.
- A hack of an Ethereum wallet providing service is being blamed for halting the upward momentum in the sector.
Cryptocurrencies are falling on Wednesday after rallying strongly over the last few days.
Here’s the scoreboard as of 1.25 a.m. BST (8.25 a.m. ET):
The slump follows several days of strong upward momentum in the crypto space. Mati Greenspan, an analyst with trading platform eToro, says the slump appears to be driven by a hack on MyEtherWallet.com, a popular provider of digital cryptocurrency wallets.
“A few of Google’s servers fell yesterday causing a disruption in Internet service in some parts of the world,” Greenspan said in an email on Wednesday. “This is not all that uncommon and the incident is still being investigated. The bigger issue is that it seems some hackers managed to exploit the downtime to hijack MyEtherWallet.com (MEW)
“MEW is the main website that many crypto enthusiasts use to store their Ethereum and Ethereum based tokens, so this is kind of a big deal. Some people who tried to access the website at that time were redirected to a lookalike phishing site that then gathered their login information (private keys) and emptied their wallets.”
A total of 216 ETH appear to have been stolen, worth around $135,864 by today’s price. While the total lost is not huge, the fact of the hack appears to have dented sentiment.
“The crypto-market was in the thrall of a raging bull run but it does seem that the hack may have stopped it in its tracks,” Greenspan wrote. “This morning we’re seeing a wider pullback across the board.”
Charles Hayter, the CEO of CryptoCompare.com, told Business Insider: “You have had a rally over the last few days so its natural for traders to take a bit of profit at this point and consolidate gains.”