Japan Digital Currecy Exchange Hacked 09/20 06:37
TOKYO (AP) -- Hackers have stolen 6.7 billion yen ($60 million) worth of
cryptocurrencies from a Japanese digital currency exchange, the operators said
Tech Bureau Corp. said a server for its Zaif exchange was hacked for two
hours last week, and some digital currencies got unlawfully relayed from what's
called a "hot wallet," or where virtual coins are stored at such exchanges.
The exchange was taken offline until details of the damage could be
confirmed, and efforts were underway to get it back working, Tech Bureau said.
Japan has been bullish on virtual money and has set up a system requiring
exchanges to be licensed to help protect consumers. The system is also meant to
make Japan a global leader in the technology. Bitcoin has been a legal form of
payment in Japan since April 2017, and a handful of major retailers here
already accept bitcoin payments.
But the recurrence of cryptocurrency heists shows problems persist.
Earlier this year, the Tokyo-based exchange Coincheck reported a 58 billion
yen ($547 million) loss of a cryptocurrency called NEM from suspected criminal
Coincheck, in operation since 2012, had been applying for a government
license but had not yet gotten one. That led to industry-wide soul-searching,
led by government financial regulators, to prevent such problems.
Zaif got registered with the government last year.
The company said Thursday it had accepted a 5 billion yen ($45 million)
offer from Fisco, a Tokyo-based investment company, for a majority stake in
Tech Bureau, headquartered in Osaka.
The cryptocurrencies stolen in last week's hack included Bitcoin and
Monacoin. Of the stolen money, 2.2 billion yen ($20 million) belonged to the
company, and the rest were customers' assets, according to Tech Bureau.
Earlier this year, a glitch at Zaif allowed some people to buy
cryptocurrencies for zero yen.