Hackers steal $530M from Japanese crypto change

NEM Price Drops below $0.8 due to Sudden 17% Decline

One of the biggest cryptocurrency exchanges in Tokyo, Coincheck was hacked and over $500m (£352m) worth of digital currency was stolen by hackers in what is now considered to be the biggest cryptocurrency heist to date. Through several tweets Coincheck said that it had suspended all withdrawals and also the trading of all tokens except Bitcoin.

In its heyday, Mt. Gox was just about the only game in town for bitcoin traders and altcoins were still something of a novelty.

During a press conference Friday, Coincheck executives indicated customers would be compensated for their stolen crypto, though it is unclear at this time whether they would be fully reimbursed. However, some reports, including one from The Guardian, suggest that the November loss could go as high as $300 million. NEM was trading at $0.855, down 8.3%.

Coincheck announced in an updating blog post that it had stopped trading of NEM and other coins as it dealt with the hack.

"We are trying to help them".

"This case could cause distrust of the virtual currency industry, so we deeply regret [the incident]", Wada said.

The Financial Services Agency has required virtual exchanges to be registered since last October, to protect consumers.

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Coincheck said it isn't aware of how its service was compromised. "They were very relaxed with their security measures", Wong said. A total of 523 million coins were stolen.

The exchange explained that it was planning to move the assets offline but did not have enough manpower to do the job.

"I came here because I knew people were gathering and the media were also here".

The operator - Coincheck Inc., based in Shibuya Ward, Tokyo - did not give a concrete figure regarding how many customers have been affected, saying only that it is "now investigating" the case.

For Bitcoin investors, the good news was that Bitcoin was able to close out the week holding on to $11,000 levels, in spite of the Cboe's February contract ending the day down 2.83% to $10,980.

Earlier Mt.Gox was hacked in 2011 and 2014; it was so big that the exchange declared themselves as bankrupt. However, there are certain cases where crypto exchanges and mining firms got hit by a hacking attack and resulted in the loss of millions from users' fund.

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