One of Japan’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges has revealed that it’s lost nearly $400 million in a security breach. Coincheck says that it has restricted deposits and withdrawals for a cryptocurrency called NEM, and Bloomberg reports that 500 million NEM tokens have been sent from the company “illicitly,” and that it’s not sure how.
The company has since suspended most trading and withdrawals, and is working to trace where the missing digital currency ended up. In a Tweet, the exchange said that it was considering compensating those who lost money.
NEM is a digital currently like Bitcoin, Ethereum, or Litecoin, and is presently the eight largest cryptocurrency by volume. TechCrunch describes the currency as a “distributed ledger platform primarily aimed at enabling payments and other financial services.”
The hack appears to be roughly the same scale as the 2014 Mt Gox theft, in which thieves made off with $400 million in bitcoin, causing the Japanese coin exchange to file for bankruptcy. However, while the dollar amount is comparable, the online economy for digital currencies has grown considerably in the last four years, and likely won’t have the same impact as the Mt Gox hack.