Friday 12 July 2019 3:27 pm

Hackers steal $32m from Tokyo cryptocurrency exchange

Services have been suspended at a Tokyo cryptocurrency exchange after a further hack on virtual currency caused the loss of ¥3.5bn (£26m).

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Tokyo-based Remixpoint, which runs the Bipoint Japan exchange, issued an apology today saying it had confirmed the losses last night, after an error appeared in the firm’s outgoing funds transfer system. 

The cryptocurrency went missing from a hot wallet, which is connected to the internet, but the currency kept in cold storage was not affected. 

Remixpoint gave no details of the incident but vowed to investigate the cause of the loss.

It also halted all transactions while the investigation goes on.

About two-thirds of the losses (2.5bn yen) affected customers while the rest of the missing assets belonged to Remixpoint.

Remixpoint said it would reimburse customers’ losses. Shares dived 20 per cent after it admitted the hack.

Japan has been relatively open to cryptocurrencies, with bitcoin being a legal form of currency since April 2017 in spite of high-profile heists. 

Those include Japan’s Coincheck, which lost over $500m in a digital currency hack, while Tokyo-based Mt. Gox exchange shut down in 2014, having handled almost 80 per cent of bitcoin transactions, after 850,000 bitcoins worth $500m disappeared from its vaults.

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South Korean cryptocurrency exchange Youbit experienced similar issues in 2017, eventually having to file for bankruptcy after being hacked twice.