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$530 Million Lost in Hack of Japanese Crypto-Currency Exchange

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Coincheck President Koichiro Wada, left, bows in apology at the beginning of a news conference in Tokyo. Japanese media say the Coincheck exchange has lost 58 billion yen ($530 million) in cryptocurrency because of hacking. (Takuya Inaba/Kyodo News via AP)

TOKYO – A Japanese exchange has lost 58 billion yen ($530 million) in crypto-currency because of hacking, according to Japanese media reports.

The Coincheck exchange said on its website Friday that it had halted sales and withdrawals of the currency, which is called NEM. It later added that it had restricted dealings in most other crypto-currencies too.

At a Friday night news conference, Coincheck President Koichiro Wada bowed and apologized. He said the company may seek financial assistance, according to Kyodo News service. Japanese TV footage showed a small group of customers standing outside the company’s Tokyo head office Friday night.

Coincheck, which calls itself the leading Bitcoin and crypto-currency exchange in Asia, said it detected the unauthorized access to its system about 3 a.m. Friday.

The reported loss tops the 48 billion yen that Mt. Gox, a Japan-based Bitcoin exchange, lost in 2014.

The Associated Press

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