Cryptocurrency exchange hacked, more than $500 million stolen
Cryptocurrencies have many risks associated with them and one of that risks is hacking and this is what happened recently with Coincheck, a Japan-based digital exchange, which resulted in a steep fall in cryptocurrency prices.
Coincheck on Friday suspended its clients’ deposits and withdraws of virtual currencies except bitcoin, saying that it has been hacked. The virtual currency that was lost was NEM and the value that was lost is $500 million. Coincheck quickly insisted that it is investigating the unauthorized access.
Coincheck’s chief operating officer Yusuke Otsuka late Friday 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 the rate when detected. We’re still examining how many of our customers are affected.
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The breach was detected at 11:25 AM according to Coincheck and after that it reported that it has suspended all trading in cryptocurrency except bitcoin in a series of tweets.
This is not the first case of bitcoin hacking as in 2014 major Tokyo-based bitcoin exchange MtGox collapsed after admitting that 850,000 coins — worth around $480 million at the time — had disappeared from its vaults.
In Japan bitcoin is a legal tender and about one third of global bitcoin transactions were made in yen.
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