Tokyo-based cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck has confirmed that it has experienced what seems to be the biggest hack in the history of the technology.

In a press conference, the exchange’s President Wakata Koichi Yoshihiro and COO Yusuke Otsuka estimated its loss around 58 billion yen (approx. $533 million). According to Bloomberg (a media outlet), which was present at the conference, 500 million NEM tokens were taken from Coincheck’s digital wallets.

Tweets by Nikkei (an Asia focused publication) appeared to specify that the accurate amount stolen may not be fully known until additional checks which have to be carried out into the intrusion. Even though the exact dollar figure for the event is hard to pin down (given the volatile nature of cryptocurrencies), data hints the figure is now at least over $400 million, which may lead to the decline in the value of XEM which is NEM protocol’s token.

Remarkably, the dollar amount stolen from Coincheck is likely to be greater than the amount stolen from Mt. Gox in 2014 (around $340 million), though the impact on the cryptocurrency market will be much smaller because of the huge increase in market capitalization since. It is revealed that Coincheck was not registered with Japan’s Financial Services Agency, but now plans to do so.

Rumours had been circulating about the theft since Coincheck unexpectedly froze most of its services. The firm stated on its website that it had restricted deposits, trading and withdrawal of XEM token which is running on the NEM blockchain. The later suspension on withdrawals of all cryptocurrencies (except bitcoin), as well as Japanese yen, was announced,. According to the most recent update, other deposit methods including credit cards have also been blocked.

At the time of writing, the price of XEM was $0.90, down from a high of $1.01. Coincheck executives announced that they are looking into reimbursing their customers. Coincheck’s president said he “deeply regretted” the issue.


Author's Bio: 

Ricky Makan is a venture capitalist and Crypto Enthusiast best known for pioneering the market for Digital Marketing. He is a Co-founder of Unkrypted, a platform which provides the latest news and information that helps understand everything about the ever-evolving world of digital currencies. He is been fascinated by Blockchain technology since the first time he heard about it in 2013