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“Biggest Theft In Crypto History”: Over $400MM Stolen From Japanese Crypto Exchange

Posted By: RumorMail
Date: Friday, 26-Jan-2018 14:25:12

Tyler Durden
January 26th, 2018

Snip

Earlier today we reported that cryptocurrencies tumbled overnight after one of the most popular – if unlicensed – Japanese exchanges, Coincheck, halted withdrawals of funds and cryptos amid broad confusion as to what prompted the halt. Additionally, Coincheck said it had stopped deposits into NEM coins, a hint that something was very wrong with what until last night was the 10th-largest cryptocurrency by market value, and which tumbled nearly 20% overnight, dragging the rest of the sector lower as news of the Coincheck fiasco spread.

Speculation was rife: “Coincheck is a very well-known exchange in Japan,” said Hiroyuki Komiya, Chief Executive Officer of Tokyo-based Blockchain Technology Consulting. “We’ve seen several outages at various crypto exchanges recently, so the extent and seriousness of Coincheck’s halt isn’t yet clear. We’re all very eagerly awaiting to hear more detail on what’s happening.”

We didn’t have long to wait: shortly after the halt, theories started to emerge as to what may have happened, with some speculating that the exchange may have been hacked after noticing that a massive ($110 million) transfer from Coincheck’s Ripple wallet:

110 mil usd in #Ripple (XRP) were sent from the Japanese cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck to an unknown address. Hacking suspected. https://t.co/hmGhlSmJEH

— Costin Raiu (@craiu) January 26, 2018

And then, the worst case scenario was confirmed by Coincheck itself told financial authorities that it had lost 500 million NEM cryptocurrency coins in today’s cyberheist, which at the current exchange rate amounts to roughly $400 million, according to Nikkei.

NEM Foundation president Lon Wong also confirmed Coincheck was hacked, calling the stolen funds “the biggest theft in the history of the world”, as quoted by CryptoNews. According to Wong, the hack had nothing to do with NEM and the blame lies exclusively with Coincheck:

“As far as NEM is concerned, tech is intact. We are not forking. Also, we would advise all exchanges to make use of our multi-signature smart contract which is among the best in the landscape. Coincheck didn’t use them and that’s why they could have been hacked. They were very relaxed with their security measures,” Wong said.

“This is the biggest theft in the history of the world,” he added.

The hack, at recent NEMUSD exchange rates, would make it even bigger than Mt. Gox – which lost a total of $350 million in 2 hacks, one in 2011 and 2014 – by $50 million.


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