Published: Fri, February 02, 2018
Industry | By Dora Warner

Coincheck hackers believed to be trying to move stolen XEM

Coincheck hackers believed to be trying to move stolen XEM

The Coincheck heist HSToday covered the other day is spurring new regulation, according to Bloomberg governement.

X Japan's Financial Services Agency on Monday demanded that Coincheck improve operations, Reuters reported. The FSA has ordered Coincheck to submit a report on the hack and measures to prevent a recurrence by February 13.

Singapore-based NEM Foundation said it had a tracing system on the NEM blockchain and that it had "a full account" of all of Coincheck's lost NEM coins.

Without providing specific details, the cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck has announced plans to reimburse victims of a recent theft of NEM tokens from its site.

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The announcement assured customers that their money will remain protected, but if the NEM tokens remain lost, all the amount that is paid as the refund will be given in the form of Coincheck losses.

Coincheck was widely criticized for keeping 100 percent of NEM tokens in a "hot" (online) wallet and apologised to customers.

In 2014, Tokyo-based Mt. Gox, which once handled 80 percent of the world's bitcoin trades, filed for bankruptcy after losing bitcoins worth around half a billion dollars - then the biggest ever such heist, which triggered a huge sell-off in bitcoin.

The FSA stated that it does not have any rules banning the use of hot wallets by exchanges, nor does it set requirements on how much should be kept in cold wallets. However, Coincheck President Koichiro Wada said that such implementation was not possible at their end "due to technical reasons and understaffing". NEM Foundation spokeswoman Alexandra Tinsman added the hackers had also started sending out "XEM" coins to random accounts in 100 XEM batches, worth about $83 each.

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Jeff McDonald of the NEM foundation says he has tracked the coins down to an unidentified account and that the hacker is trying to sell them in smaller batches to avoid triggering anti-money laundering mechanisms built into exchange security systems. "They were very relaxed with their security measure".

At least three dozen heists on cryptocurrency exchanges since 2011 are known; numerous hacked exchanges later shut down. The investigation will include on-site inspections as well.

Cryptocurrency trading in Japan has spiked in the past year, with the country's army of retail investors emerging as a major force in bitcoin's spectacular rally.

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