Japanese Crypto Scene Sees Another Hack…
Youch. A Japanese crypto asset exchange, Bitpoint, has just been subject to a large hack, during which attackers managed to steal over $30 million worth of Bitcoin, XRP, Ethereum, Litecoin, and other digital assets. The funds were siphoned out of the exchange via its hot wallet, not the cold wallets as first suggested by some users. This harrowing tidbit of news comes via Bloomberg.
Interestingly, the broader crypto market hasn’t reacted to this debacle, despite the fact that BTC has habitually fallen in the minutes and hours after the hacks of Binance, Bithumb, and so on and so forth. Though, shares of Bitpoint’s parent company, Remixpoint, fell by upwards of 19% on some markets and were actually temporarily frozen due to “a glut of sell orders” by panicked investors.
Revealed in an announcement published via Remixpoint, the upstart exchange claimed that around 70% of the funds lost originate belong to its customers, with the rest coming from company coffers.
Due to this hack, Bitpoint has been mandated to cease its operations for the time being, including deposits, withdrawals, and trading at large.
It is unclear how or if the exchange will reimburse its customers.
This comes at an unfortunate turning point in the Japanese crypto exchange. You see, ever since the monumental CoinCheck hack, which incurred the loss of $500 million worth of a crypto asset named XEM (NEM), the local financial regulator has been very stringent in handling the cryptocurrency space. The Financial Services Agency (FSA), as the entity is known, has developed a serious licensing system for want-to-be trading platforms.
The thing is, Bitpoint had purportedly been somewhat verified by the FSA, but had received a “business improvement order”.
With the agency currently managing a list of over 100 upstart crypto firms wanting to sortie into the exchange space, the FSA may become even more heavy-handed than it already is, potentially resulting in the death of some crypto platforms, and thus investor interest, in the nation.
A Digital Asset-Friendly Nation?
It is important to note that Japan has been quite friendly to the cryptocurrency space overall. As reported by this outlet previously, Kazuhiro Tokita, the president of the FSA-regulated local crypto exchange DeCurret, in April unveiled a system that would allow for consumers that hold a Suica card, which is used on East Japan Railway Company’s (JR East) metro and shinkansen systems, to top up their balance with digital assets.
Also, Rakuten, an e-commerce heavyweight in the nation, has acquired a Bitcoin exchange, and intends to integrate direct cryptocurrency payments into its stores. Bit Camera, a large electronics retailers, too, has embraced cryptocurrencies, accepting BTC in its stores across the nation.
Title Image Courtesy of Unsplash
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