South Korean prosecutors have raided the offices of the country’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, Upbit, it has been reported.
The local authorities searched the exchange’s offices on Thursday and Friday, Bloomberg said, citing an unnamed official from the Seoul Southern District Prosecutors’ Office. According to the newswire, the official declined to disclose any details about the raid, which was initially reported by local news outlet the Korea Economic Daily.
“Upbit is currently under investigation by prosecutors and is cooperating,”, Upbit said in a notice to clients, as quoted by Bloomberg. The company added that services such as transactions and withdrawals were unaffected and client assets were safe.
Upbit is one of the largest crypto exchanges in the world, supporting a great variety of cryptocoins across more than 250 trading pairs. According to data from cryptocurrency tracker Coinmarketcap, the exchange has processed nearly $2.2 billion in the past 24 hours, which makes it the third-largest crypto trading platform in terms of trading volume, behind OKEx and Binance.
The news about the raid have most likely contributed significantly to the massive sell-off seen across the cryptocurrency market on Friday. Nearly all cryptocurrencies in the top 100 have seen steep price declines over the past 24 hours, with the majority of the losses incurred in today’s trading. The largest cryptocurrency on the market, Bitcoin, dropped to a three week high of $8,520 earlier in the session, while the cryptocurrency market’s value fell to as low as $379.8 billion, losing nearly $60 billion of its value in less than 24 hours.
The market has experienced some uptick in the past hour or so, with many cryptocurrencies bouncing off their intraday lows. At the time of writing, the total value of all cryptocurrencies stood at $393.7 billion, with Bitcoin accounting for 37.5% of the total market cap.