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Japanese crypto exchange Bitpoint suffers $32 million hack

2019-07-12 15:41 by
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Japan's Bitpoint has become the latest cryptocurrency exchange to suffer a suspected hacking attack after it reported the unauthorised withdrawal of $32m in company and customer funds. The exchange, which is owned by Remixpoint Inc., said about 2.5 billion yen of stolen funds belonged to customers, while Bitpoint owned the rest.

The apparent hack emerged after an error appeared in the firm's outgoing funds transfer system on Thursday night. It said the cryptocurrency went missing from a so-called hot wallet, which is connected to the internet, but that currency held in cold wallets that are offline was not affected.

The exchange was among cryptocurrency operators ordered by Japan's Financial Services Agency to improve internal controls following the 2018 hack of Coincheck. Last year, Japan's Coincheck was hacked and more than $500m-worth of digital currency stolen. In 2017 the South Korean exchange Youbit shut down and filed for bankruptcy after being hacked twice. The Tokyo-based MtGox exchange, which at one time handled almost 80% of all global bitcoin transactions, was shut down in 2014 after 850,000 bitcoins (worth half a billion US dollars at the time) disappeared from its virtual vaults.

Japan has been relatively open to cryptocurrencies, which use a technology called blockchain, despite the high-profile heists. It has set up a licensing system to oversee their use.

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