Upbit, South Korea’s largest exchange, said it suffered close to 160,000 attempted network attacks in the first half of this year, 2.17 times more than last year.
That’s a lot of attacks. In context, this means on average, they suffer an average of close to 440 attacks per day.
That’s 18 attacks every hour.
In fact, just in September this year, they were on the receiving end of a fraudulent version of the Aptos token that found its way onto the platform due to a lapse in their source code scrutiny.
But perhaps because it is always subject to attacks, and with the memory of a $50 million exploit in 2019 looming over their heads, Upbit’s approach towards security and risk is more prudent than most.
With no time for complacency, they have shifted more than more than 70% of assets to cold wallets.
These cold wallets are offline storage solutions for digital assets. Unlike hot wallets, they are less susceptible to being hacked as their private keys are not stored online.
And that is not to say the exchange’s hot wallets are defenceless; they have implemented multi-structure decentralised operations.
It’s this constant emphasis to the things that matter the most – the asset security of its users, that has kept the multi-national exchange safe from most exploits that have beleagured centralised exchanges.
And this has translated to its success, with over a 2 times surge in trading volume compared to the same period in 2022.
Furthermore, there is an over 18x increase in trading when compared to the first half of 2020, three years after the exchange launched.
Upbit embarked on its journey in October 2017 in collaboration with American cryptocurrency exchange Bittrex.
Since then, the exchange has achieved significant milestones, including establishing itself as a prominent player in the global cryptocurrency exchange arena, particularly in terms of 24-hour trading volume.
Recently, Upbit received preliminary approval from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) for a substantial payment institution license under the Payment Services Act.
This puts Upbit in the company of major industry players like Coinbase and Ripple.
This coveted license regulates the operations of crypto market participants and grants Upbit the authority to provide regulated digital payment token (DPT) products and services.
The expansion allows Upbit to cater to both individual and institutional customers.
Will this meteoric rise continue to indicate greater things for the exchange?
Your guess is as good as mine.
But with at least 6 years of experience under their belt, perhaps Upbit will be better prepared than most to weather the conditions of an ever-evolving market.