Coincheck, one of the larger Japanese crypto exchanges, may have seen a hacking, as NEM (XEM) coins worth at least $600 million were withdrawn. The exchange has frozen deposits and withdrawals for now, to investigate further.
$600 million in XEM (NEM) was withdrawn from Japanese cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck. Not confirmed whether it was a hacking attack or a planned move. Hopefully an update is released soon. https://t.co/nTfayXn6ZO
This event underlines the increasing danger for crypto holders, as attacks on the valuable assets may accelerate in the coming months. XEM coins have increased in value lately, as the project has become more famous.
Trading in altcoins in Japan is extremely active, and several local assets are enjoying great popularity. NEM is the local answer to an Ethereum-like platform, presenting solutions for industries and businesses based on a distributed network.
"Depositing NEM on Coincheck is currently being restricted. Deposits made to your account will not be reflected in your balance, and we advise all users to refrain from making deposits until the restriction has been lifted," wrote the company in an urgent blog message.
Recently, it also became known that Korean exchanges are having problems ensuring the safety and privacy of traders. Hacking attacks against Korean exchanges have happened in the past, but the Japanese markets are yet to experience the troubles.
Japanese exchanges started cropping up last fall, as the government gave its blessing for the fully compliant markets. But as the case of Coincheck shows, those markets are still vulnerable to attacks.
The XEM token has appreciated from recent lows around $0.19 to above $1.20, and now hovers around $0.79. Traders have noted suspicious activity in dumping XEM on other markets, and it is unknown if it is related to the Coincheck withdrawal. The nature of the hack is yet unknown.
Currently, credit card, Pay Easy, and convenience store payments are suspended. We sincerely apologize for these inconveniences and will continue to do our best to be back to normal operations as soon as possible. https://t.co/4OCB0LPDuz
The exchange would reveal more about the hack in a dedicated press conference, as local media gathered outside the exchange to learn more of the missing XEM. Some are calling the event the "NEM Gox", a repeat of the debacle of Tokyo-based Mt. Gox. The NEM official Twitter has not posted on the issue.