Japanese Police Arrest 30 Suspects, Allegedly Involved in 2018’s $530M Coincheck Hack


Japanese police have made progress on the Coincheck hack investigations, having recently identified 30 individuals that might have been involved. According to Nikkei Asia, which broke the news, the authorities have arrested some of the alleged hack suspects or referred their cases to the local prosecutors’ office.

The hack which took place back in 2018 is still the largest in crypto history; around 58 billion yen ($530 million) worth of NEM tokens was siphoned from the exchange. Since then, Japanese authorities have been working to catch the Coincheck hackers.

Notably, Coincheck had already released the associated addresses where the stolen NEM tokens were drained. This prompted them to be blacklisted and consequently labeled ‘coincheck_stolen_funds_do_not_accept_trades: owner_of_this_account_is_hacker.’

Last year, the authorities arrested two individuals named Masaki Kitamoto and Takayoshi Doi, who acquired the stolen NEM tokens at a 15% discount via the dark web. The two found themselves in trouble for purchasing the tokens despite being aware of their origin.

It now seems that the Japanese police have narrowed down further given the recent arrests and prosecution referrals. Per Nikkei’s report, investigators were able to trace the 30 individuals by tracking ‘the accounts at conventional cryptocurrency exchanges through which the hacked NEM was converted.’

Sources close to the matter revealed that the transactions in question could total around 20 billion yen, although they are yet to pinpoint the exact parties responsible for the hack. Before this development, the narrative has been Russian hackers suspected of having compromised Coincheck employees’ computers.

On the bright side, Coincheck survived following an acquisition by Monex Group. The crypto exchange is set to host Japan’s first Initial Exchange Offering (IEO) for a project dubbed ‘Hash Palette’; this initiative targets to raise roughly 1 billion Yen ($9.4 million).

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