Coincheck has fallen victim to a hack attack that reportedly stole more than $400 million worth of cryptocurrencies.
The Tokyo-based exchange is a platform where consumers can buy or sell a number of cryptocurrencies, and this appears to be the largest monetary theft of cryptocurrency ever reported.
Coincheck president Wakata Koichi Yoshihiro and chief operating officer Yusuke Otsuka estimated the exchange’s loss at 58 billion yen (roughly $533 million), with about 500 million NEM tokens taken from the group’s digital wallets.
However, the hack lowered the value of the digital coin, tallying up the total loss to more than $400 million. The largest cryptocurrency theft up until this point was the Mt. Gox one in 2014 that amounted to $340 million, but that one had a larger impact on the industry as the market cap is much higher now than it was then.
There were rumors going on this morning about a potential hack due to the fact that Coincheck abruptly froze its servers. A more widespread suspension on withdrawals of all cryptocurrencies and Japanese yen was issued roughly 30 minutes later.
Over the next hour, all cryptocurrency trading was restricted with the exception of bitcoin. Other deposit methods including credit cards were also stopped eventually. Coincheck is searching for ways in which it can compensate customers who lost a large chunk of change from the hack.
The exchange’s president said he “deeply regretted” what happened.