World's biggest ever digital currency 'theft'
One of Japan's largest digital currency exchanges lost $534 million worth of virtual assets in a hacking attack on its network. Hackers broke in at 02:57 on Friday (17:57 GMT Thursday), but the breach was discovered nearly eight and a half hours later. Company chief Yusuke Otsuka said 523 million NEMs had been sent from Coincheck's NEM address during the breach. Coincheck was still examining how many customers had been affected and trying to establish whether the break-in had been launched from Japan or another country. "We are tracing them and if we're able to continue tracking, it may be possible to recover them," -- claims Otsuka.
How damaging is the loss? NEM, the 10th largest crypto currency by market value, fell 11% over a 24-hour period to 87 cents. "In a worst-case scenario, we may not be able to return clients' assets," says an unnamed Coincheck representative. After the collapse of MtGox shook the digital currency world, a licensing system was introduced in Japan to increase oversight of local currency exchanges such as Coincheck. "Japan is one of the most pro-crypto trading countries, among the G-20. In Japan they don't really want a wholesale clampdown. So it will be interesting how Japanese regulators respond to this, if they indeed do."