Japan cryptocurrency exchange loses $32 million of virtual money

Andrew Cummings
July 12, 2019

They confirmed the theft about four hours later the next day, and by 10:30 a.m. had halted all transactions and currency exchange. The exchange lost $32 million worth of cryptocurrency in a hack.

A Tokyo-based cryptocurrency exchange said on July 12 it had halted all services after losing cryptocurrency worth more than United States dollars 32 million in the latest apparent hack involving virtual money. In other words, a third of all crypto frauds and thefts are taking place in "the Land of the Rising Sun".

Japan - a hack prone country? Singapore-based Bitrue lost XRP and ADA tokens worth $5 million at the time of the theft, while Slovenia-based British exchange GateHub lost almost $10 million worth of XRP. The hack focused on Ripple (XRP) and other digital coins.

A more detailed document from Bitpoint's parent company Remixpoint says $23 million of the stolen funds belonged to the exchange's customers.

Japan's Financial Services Agency had issued an operational improvement order to Bitpoint a year ago.

The fact that Bitpoint was attacked just after the operational improvement order was lifted indicates that the cryptocurrency exchange didn't do much to improve its internal controls. Ironically, the order was reversed at the end of June.

The exchange said it detected the hack because of errors related to the remittance of Ripple funds to customers. Of this, cryptocurrency thefts and scams alone accounted for $356 million.

Currently, the total crypto market cap is over $318 billion.

The increasing crypto exchange hacking incidents are prompting Japan's Financial Services Agency to play a more significant role in supervising cryptocurrency exchanges. Share your thoughts in the comments section!

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