Owning a currency riding in a speculative way has inherent dangers. The description holds true for Bitcoins holders in Japan. In an unfortunate incident, Tokyo-based cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck lost $530 million to hacking.
Coincheck hacked; loses half a billion dollars
Following the incident, Japan-based digital exchange Coincheck suspended withdrawals of almost all cryptocurrencies. It was also reported that NEM, a peer-to-peer cryptocurrency, and blockchain platform plunged over 15 percent in a 24-hour period.
Furthermore, The national broadcaster NHK revealed the exchange had already reported the incident to the police and Japan’s Financial Services Agency and the investigations were underway to find the causes of failure that appeared to result in a loss worth half a billion US dollars of NEM, the 10th biggest cryptocurrency by market capitalization.
Yusuke Otsuka, chief operating officer, Coincheck said,
“At 3 am (1800 GMT) today, 523 million NEMs were sent from the NEM address of Coincheck. It’s worth 58 billion yen based on the calculation at the rate when detected. We’re still examining how many of our customers are affected. The exchange is trying to find out whether the breach was from Japan or another country”.
Other cryptocurrencies market was also hit by the news. After a brief interval, a majority of them managed to rebound slightly by late Friday but were still down. Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) was quick to issue notices to the country’s roughly 30 other firms operating in virtual currency exchanges, warning them of possible cyber-attacks and urging all to step up security.
The ones to be hit hardest by this incident were investors who were obsessed with the fear of missing out and never felt tempted to find logic in Bitcoin fever. The unprecedented theft underscores security and regulatory concerns about bitcoin and other virtual currencies even as its bubble continues to rise.