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Hackers loot the vault at Tokyo's Coincheck Inc. virtual bank

Hackers loot the vault at Tokyo's Coincheck Inc. virtual bank”

A leading Japanese cryptocurrency exchange, Coincheck, experienced one of the largest monetary heists ever when hackers stole $532 million worth of the NEM cryptocurrency. However, Coincheck officials admitted the company had not taken this security step with regard to the NEM virtual currency because it lacked the technological skills and personnel. The dollar amount stolen from Coincheck is likely greater than the amount stolen from Mt. Gox in 2014 (pegged at $340 million).

"Investors and traders are very sensitive to any news involving the big exchanges", said Peter Sin, a trader and co-head of the digital currency subcommittee at ACCESS, a Singapore-based cryptocurrency and blockchain industry association.

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 has about 6 percent of yen-bitcoin trading, ranking fourth by market share on CryptoCompare.

Ars attempted to reach representatives of Coincheck and the NEM Foundation without success.

The company said it will use its own capital to repay the 260,000 users impacted by the theft of NEM coins, at a rate of 81 cents for each coin, according to a statement posted on its website early Sunday.

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We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience this has caused everyone. Coincheck is still looking into exactly what happened.

The cryptocurrencies have managed to recover some of its losses in more recent trading, but at the time of writing they are still down over the 24-hour period.

"Currently, buying and selling other than BTC (ortho coin) is temporarily suspended".

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"I would've thought that the whole crypto landscape would've been down quite a bit on this news of a major Japanese exchange getting hacked", said Michael Graham, senior equity analyst at Canaccord Genuity. It operates exchanges between bitcoin/ethereum and fiat currencies in Japan. Coincheck later confirmed the losses and held a press conference to provide more details. Trading volume has jumped in the past year as several countries, most importantly China, have restricted cryptocurrency trading.



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