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Updated January 29, One of Japan's largest digital currency exchanges says it is going to repay hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of virtual money after hackers broke into its network. On Sunday, the exchange announced it would return about The initial theft was reportedly as one of the world's biggest-ever digital cryptocurrency thefts. Coincheck president Koichiro Wada apologised at a news conference and said the company may seek financial assistance.
I deeply apologise for your inconvenience because of this incident. I am very sorry," he said. Chief operating officer Yusuke Otsuka said stolen funds were kept in a "hot wallet" — one connected to the internet instead of being secured offline, according to Forbes. Asked why, company President Koichiro Wada cited technical difficulties and a shortage of staff capable of dealing with them.
Reuters reported two sources with direct knowledge of the matter said Japan's Financial Services Agency FSA sent a notice to the country's roughly 30 firms that operate virtual currency exchanges to warn of further possible cyber-attacks, urging them to step up security. The financial watchdog is also considering administrative punishment for Coincheck under the financial settlements law, one of the sources said. The theft underscores security and regulatory concerns about bitcoin and other virtual currencies even as a global boom in them shows little signs of fizzling.
World leaders meeting in Davos last week issued fresh warnings about the dangers of cryptocurrencies, with US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin relating Washington's concern about the money being used for illicit activity.
According to The Verge, it's the eighth largest cryptocurrency in the world by volume. At the moment, Coincheck says the theft has been limited to NEM, but after announcing the theft it restricted dealings in most other cryptocurrencies too.
The theft didn't appear to dampen investors' spirits, with Cointelegraph reporting cryptocurrency markets in Japan rising less than 24 hours after the hack. First posted January 28, If you have inside knowledge of a topic in the news, contact the ABC. ABC teams share the story behind the story and insights into the making of digital, TV and radio content. Read about our editorial guiding principles and the enforceable standard our journalists follow. A technical failure was behind the VAR controversy in Saturday night's A-League grand final, which saw Melbourne Victory's winning goal come from an offside position.
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