South Korea’s biggest cryptocurrency exchange Bithumb has posted a net loss of 205.5 billion won ($180 million) for 2018.
Local media reported the news April 11, stating that the loss was primarily caused by a sharp decline in the cryptocurrency market in 2018. BTCKorea, the company’s operator, also cited labor costs and infrastructure investments as factors.
The figure is a significant decrease for Bithumb, having reported a net profit of 534.9 billion won ($469 million) in 2017.
On the other hand, the exchange’s revenues increased roughly 17.5 percent to 391.7 billion won ($343.4 million) in 2018, compared from 2017’s 333.4 billion won ($292.3 million).
The figures also present a 3.4 percent decline to exchange’s operating profit to 256.1 billion won ($224.5 million) in 2018 from 265.1 billion won ($232.5 million) in 2017.
However, operating expenses increased from 68.3 billion won ($59.8 million) to 135.6 billion won ($119 million), while non-operating expenses rose significantly from 4.1 billion ($3.6 million) won to 381.9 billion won ($334.8 million).
Bithumb has been facing challenging times. The exchange suffered an attack just two weeks ago, losing roughly $13 million in the EOS cryptocurrency and around $6.2 million in XRP. In 2018, Bithumb was also hacked and lost around $30 million in cryptocurrencies, but later declared to have recovered $14 million of the hacked funds.
Since the latest hack, Bithumb informed customers that assets are kept in cold (offline) wallets to avoid further losses caused by such attacks.
Bithumb also stated last month that it considers letting go of up to 50 percent of staff, which makes its total number of employees down to around 150 from 310.