Hackers steal $400 million from cryptocurrency exchange

Posted January 28, 2018

Some 58 billion yen ($534 million) of the cryptocurrency NEM has disappeared from a Japanese exchange due to hacking, the operator said Friday after halting withdrawals and trade of the virtual currency.

As such, Coincheck's deposit restrictions have spread to cover all NEM sales and purchases, which also includes withdrawals. Back in February 2014, Mt. Gox announced that 850,000 bitcoins had been stolen, but 200,000 of those have since been recovered.

Tokyo-based Coincheck Inc. stopped all digital currency transactions January 26 after learning that its computers had been hacked and drained of the digital currency called NEM.

Coincheck also said it had halted deposits of NEM, whose market cap is the 10th highest of any cryptocurrency, according to CoinMarketCap.

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Coincheck reportedly said that it is aware of the address where the stolen NEM tokens are now being stored by hackers. Bleeping Computer reported that the hackers may have stolen nearly seven percent of all the NEM tokens now in circulation.

"By the time the transaction is confirmed, fluctuations in Bitcoin price mean that it's for the "wrong" amount", Stripe product manager Tom Karlo said in a statement.

The Japanese cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck has shut down trading and withdrawals from accounts after a reported theft of more than 500 million XEM-the blockchain-based cryptocurrency created by the NEM Foundation. This was followed by a similar suspension of trading for all cryptocurrencies, except bitcoin.

Officials are looking into what happened and do not yet know when trading will resume.

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Soon after the company began shutting down operations, $123 million worth Ripple coin was transferred to another wallet.

A Japanese cryptocurrency exchange has claimed it lost more than $400 million in tokens following an alleged hack on its service. Coincheck's president said he "deeply regretted" the issue.

Coincheck had applied with the agency for a license as an exchange and was able to continue operating under the FSA's rules while awaiting a decision.

Coincheck's refusal to implement the protocol is the vulnerability the hackers most likely seized upon, according to Lon Wong.

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