Tokyo-based cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck has confirmed that it has suffered the biggest theft in the history of cryptocurrency. The exchange first moved to halt all trading in NEM, the cryptocurrency allegedly at the center of the theft, Coincheck went on to halt all other activity.
Coincheck has initiated a series of actions including the suspension of trading of all cryptocurrencies with the exception of Bitcoin. Now there are 16 regulated cryptocurrency operations in Japan but Coincheck is not now a licensed platform. Only Bitcoin services remained available on the exchange.
This news comes as a bit of a shock to investors as CoinCheck is said to be the largest cryptocurrency exchange in Japan. The trade has around 6 percent of yen-bitcoin exchanging, positioning fourth by part of the overall industry on CryptoCompare.
Coincheck said it was investigating "unauthorised access" of the exchange that appeared to result in a loss worth half a billion USA dollars of NEM, the 10th biggest cryptocurrency by market capitalisation.
The restriction on NEM created tension on NEM investors which was followed by massive withdrawals before the exchange stopped all currency withdrawals.
Cryptocurrency exchanges, many of which operate with little to no regulation, have experienced a spate of outages and hacks amid the trading boom that propelled bitcoin and its peers to record highs previous year.
"Currently, buying and selling other than BTC (ortho coin) is temporarily suspended". "We sincerely apologize for these inconveniences and will continue to do our best to be back to normal operations as soon as possible", the spokesperson wrote. Posts on Reddit speculated that a theft might the reason behind the company's actions even as Coincheck said it was working on a "detailed announcement". Coincheck had applied for a license and is under supervision by the FSA, according to Bloomberg. Wong told Cryptonews that NEM's technology was not responsible and that Coincheck did not implement NEM's multi-signature smart contract, "and that's why they could have been hacked".