Over $500 million in cryptocurrency stolen

A man walks past a poster that informs customers that bitcoin can be used in this shop in Tokyo. Bitcoin is recognised as legal tender in the world's third-biggest economy. prices of Cryptocurrencies slumped on Friday after one of Japan’s biggest Bitcoi

"I would've thought that the whole crypto landscape would've been down quite a bit on this news of a major Japanese exchange getting hacked", said Michael Graham, senior equity analyst at Canaccord Genuity.

A Japanese exchange has lost $530 million in cryptocurrency because of hacking, according to Japanese media reports.

Describing itself as the "Leading Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Exchange in Asia", CoinCheck allows its users to trade in more than a dozen various virtual currencies, including NEM.

In April 2017, the Financial Services Agency introduced a registration system for cryptocurrency exchange operators mainly to protect customers.

The hack is one of the biggest ever, nearly matching the $500 million loss from the Mt. Gox exchange in 2014. However, the exchange hasn't confirmed anything but the NEM theft. Even unconfirmed reports indicated that $600 million worth NEM coin has left the exchange.

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Cryptocurrencies slid overnight after one of Japan's most active Bitcoin venues - Coincheck - halted client withdrawals, spooking investors in a country that's still wary four years after the collapse of Mt. Gox.

Officials say they are looking into what happened, and do not yet know when trading will resume. "They were very relaxed with their security measures", Wong said. That contrasts with a cold wallet, where funds are stored securely offline. Bleeping Computer reported that the hackers may have stolen nearly seven percent of all the NEM tokens now in circulation.

Coincheck, founded in 2012, had 71 employees as of July with headquarters in Tokyo's Shibuya district, an area popular with start-ups that was also home to Mt. Gox, according to Coincheck's website. A total of 523 million coins were stolen.

As news of the hack broke, anxious Coincheck users braved the frigid weather to gather at Coincheck's headquarters in Shibuya district to get more information.

Meanwhile, news of the hack has led to a drop in the value of cryptocurrencies. It also announced that it had suspended trading for all cryptocurrencies apart from Bitcoin: "Currently we're suspending the buying and selling of altcoin except for BTC".

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