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‘Biggest Theft In Crypto History’: Over $400M Stolen From Japanese Crypto Exchange

(L-R) Coincheck Business Development Lead Kagayaki Kawabata, Ripple CEO Chris Larsen, Coincheck CEO Koichiro Wada, Coincheck COO Yusuke Otsuka, Ripple Product Manager Warren Paul Anderson in Tokyo on Oct. 17, 2016. PHOTO: Ripple

By Tyler Durden | 26 January 2018

ZERO HEDGE — 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 (XRP) were sent from the Japanese cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck to an unknown address. Hacking suspected. https://twitter.com/xrpl_monitor/status/956729169295024128 

 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 millionaccording to Nikkei. […]
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