Saturday, 24 February, 2018

$530 million lost due to hacking at Japan cryptocurrency exchange

Bitcoin price plunges as Britain threatens to impose strict cryptocurrency laws Cryptocurrency markets are extremely volatile and react badly to the vaguest threat of new laws
Kelvin Reese | 28 January, 2018, 00:33

The Ripple price (XRP/USD) has seen a significant decline following reports that a large Japanese cryptocurrency exchange had lost hundreds of millions worth of the digital currency. However, Coincheck officials admitted the company had not taken this security step with regard to the NEM virtual currency because it lacked the technological skills and personnel.

At a press conference, operator Coincheck, based in Shibuya Ward, said the company temporarily restricted deposits, withdrawals, sales and purchases of NEM. The exchange has about 6 percent of yen-bitcoin trading, ranking fourth by market share on CryptoCompare. Coincheck had applied for a license but it is now waiting for a decision.

The exchange posted several updates in a blog post and that announced that "certain Coincheck Payment features will be temporarily unavailable starting at 5 pm JST on 1/27/2018".

Coincheck said it didn't know how the 500 million tokens went missing, but it is working to ensure the safety of all assets.

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Though Coincheck is a major company among virtual currency exchanges, its registration at the Financial Services Agency is still under review, meaning it is not yet registered as a certified virtual currency exchange. The price of the cryptocurrency was up more than 30% over the last twenty-four hours, trading at $1.11 a coin at last check. Other estimates peg the loss a bit lower at around $420 million, and some have it as high as $600 million.

In the annals of cryptocurrency exchange platform hacks, the Coincheck incident is now the biggest hack ever, surpassing the Mt. Gox incident from 2014 when hackers stole over $450 million worth of Bitcoin. Unlike Bitcoin, NEM is not mineable-all of the XEM was created at the start and distributed to investors. Coincheck is said to be undergoing screening for registration.

A Japanese cryptocurrency exchange has claimed it lost more than $400 million in tokens following an alleged hack on its service. "We sincerely apologize for these inconveniences and will continue to do our best to be back to normal operations as soon as possible", the spokesperson wrote. Coincheck had however not obtained this license and was not under the regulating authority.

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