World’s biggest ever digital currency ‘theft’, $534m lost

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Bitcoin

One of Japan’s largest digital currency exchanges says it has lost some $534m (£380m) worth of virtual assets in a hacking attack on its network.

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Coincheck froze deposits and withdrawals for all crypto-currencies except Bitcoin as it assessed its losses in NEM, a lesser-known currency.

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It may be unable to reimburse the funds lost on Friday, a representative told Japanese media.

If the theft is confirmed, it will be the largest involving digital currency.

Another Tokyo exchange, MtGox, collapsed in 2014 after admitting that $400m had been stolen from its network.

The stolen Coincheck assets were said to be kept in a “hot wallet” – a part of the exchange connected to the internet. That contrasts with a cold wallet, where funds are stored securely offline.

Coincheck says it has the digital address of where the assets were sent.

BBC

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