Business 13 February 2018

Jasmine Solana

Japan’s Coincheck reopens yen withdrawals after $530M crypto heist

Japanese cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck has allowed its customers to resume yen withdrawals on Tuesday, more than two weeks after the company was stung by the theft of JPY58 billion worth of digital money.

Coincheck said it decided to reopen the service after confirming the integrity of its system security. Last week, the exchange has received withdrawal requests amounting to JPY30 billion ($280 million), although that figure has ballooned to JPY40.1 billion ($373 million) on Tuesday, the first day customers were allowed to get their money out of the beleaguered cryptocurrency exchange, Bloomberg reported.

Requests for yen withdrawals were being processed on a first-come-first-served basis, according to a Kyodo News report.

The Japan-based exchange promised to pay the 260,000 users affected in what was considered as the biggest theft in world history, effectively dethroning the infamous Mt. Gox hack. The January heist saw hackers getting ahold of 523 million NEM tokens (XEM) from Coincheck’s hot wallet, worth $533 million in today’s trading.

The government’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) has been keeping close tabs on the exchange. Aside from visiting Coincheck’s Tokyo office, the agency also required the company to submit a report not just on the heist, but also on the safety of its systems as well as Coincheck’s plan of action to prevent a repeat of the incident.

Coincheck submitted its report to the FSA on Tuesday. According to the exchange, the report contains the facts and causes surrounding the case as well as the company’s plan, including strengthening of current measures to manage system risk and creating new measures for system risk management “in addition to making it clear where responsibility lies for different risks.”

“Beginning with the points mentioned in the FSA’s improvement order, we plan to continue making meaningful improvements to our system. In addition, we are continuing to confirm and improve the security of our systems in order to resume transfers of other cryptocurrencies and begin reparation payments as soon as possible,” Coincheck said on its website.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (SegWit) chain are referenced as BTC coins; tokens on the Bitcoin Cash ABC chain are referenced as BCH, BCH-ABC or BAB coins.

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