Bithumb, South Korea’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, has posted a net loss of 205.5 billion won ($180 million) for 2018.
CoinDesk Korea reported the news on Thursday, saying that the loss was mainly due to a sharp decline in the cryptocurrency market last year, though the company’s operator BTCKorea also cited infrastructure investments and labor costs as factors.
The figure marks a big swing into the red for Bithumb, having recorded a net profit of 534.9 billion won ($469 million) in 2017.
The exchange’s revenues, on the other hand, grew around 17.5 percent to 391.7 billion won ($343.4 million) in 2018, compared to 333.4 billion won ($292.3 million) the year prior.
The figures also show that the exchange’s operating profit declined 3.4 percent to 256.1 billion won ($224.5 million) last year from 265.1 billion won ($232.5 million) in 2017.
Meanwhile, operating expenses rose from 68.3 billion won ($59.8 million) to 135.6 billion won ($119 million), while non-operating expenses increased sharply from 4.1 billion ($3.6 million) won to 381.9 billion won ($334.8 million).
Bithumb has been going through some tough times. Just two weeks ago, the exchange suffered its latest hack, losing around $13 million in the EOS cryptocurrency and about $6.2 million in XRP. Last year, Bithumb was also hacked for some $30 million-worth of cryptocurrencies, but later claimed to have retrieved $14 million-worth of the hacked funds.
Since the latest theft, Bithumb has disclosed that it holds all customers’s assets in cold (offline) wallets to prevent losses through such attacks.
Amid its financial issues, Bithumb, said last month that it plans to cut its staffing levels by up to 50 percent, from 310 employees to around 150.
Bithumb image via Shutterstock
The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.