One of Japan’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges just suffered a hack as large as Mt. Gox. Japan’s Coincheck admitted that $400 million in NEM tokens are missing after they were sent “illicitly” outside the exchange.
$400 Million+ In NEM Tokens Stolen From Coincheck
The news was announced late at night after hours of speculation. During a press conference, Coincheck Inc. co-founder Yusuke Otsuka admitted that 500 million NEM tokens were missing – and they still don’t know how they disappeared. However, the exchange is working to protect the safety of all client assets.
Earlier in the day, Coincheck had halted all customer withdrawals, ended trading of all coins except bitcoin, and stopped deposits into NEM coins.
“We are looking into the facts surrounding Coincheck,” Japan’s Financial Services Agency said in a statement, as reported by Bloomberg. Japan was also the location of the infamous Mt. Gox hack in 2014, when 750,000 bitcoins were stolen. At the time, those bitcoins were worth about $450 million USD. This latest Coincheck hack is on par with Mt. Gox in terms of value. However, the overall market cap of the crypto industry has changed dramatically in that time.
It’s important to note that Coincheck is not registered with Japan’s Financial Services Authority – a regular that oversees all types of financial exchanges in the country. Other Japanese exchanges like bitFlyer and Quoine are registered with the agency.
It’s not totally clear how much was stolen during the Coincheck hack. Some reports claim that it was as much as $740 million. Others claim it was $532 million.
However, NEM Foundation president Lon Wong issued a statement on January 26 stating that the attack was “the biggest theft in the history of the world.” Yikes.
How Did It Coincheck Get Hacked?
There are no details about how the attack happened. All we really know is that 500 million NEM coins were sent “illicitly” outside the venue.
As of January 26, no further information is available about the hack or how it took place. It’s unclear what kind of security procedures are in place at Coincheck, and it’s unclear whether this was an outside threat or an inside employee attack.
Stay tuned for more information as this story continues to break. Based on early reports, the Coincheck NEM attack is already much bigger than Mt. Gox