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Japanese cryptocurrency exchange Bitpoint loses $32M to hackers

Fri, 12 Jul 2019, 10:31 am UTC

Japanese cryptocurrency exchange Bitpoint has suffered a major hack in which it lost 3.5 billion yen (approximately $32 million).

The company confirmed the hack in its official announcement made today. Soon after the hack was detected, the exchange has suspended all services in Japan.

“[W]e have completely stopped services, including the opening of new accounts, and are working hard to find out the cause, identify the outflow, and minimize damage,” Bitpoint said (via online translation).

Of the total amount that was lost, around 2.5 billion yen (approximately $23 million) belonged to customers, while 1 billion (around $9.2 million) belonged to Bitpoint. The holdings in five different cryptocurrencies were affected in the incident including bitcoin, XRP, Litecoin, ether, and bitcoin cash.

Based on its initial investigations, Bitpoint said that the hack, which was detected on the night of July 11, affected its hot wallet, not the cold wallet. It added that it held some crypto holdings in the hot wallet to “execute virtual currency transaction smoothly.”

Last month, Bitpoint had received a business improvement order from the Financial Services Agency (FSA). In an online post, the exchange said at the time that it had submitted its business improvement plan and will continue to “enhance and strengthen its management structure and internal control, maintain and improve its legal compliance system, and provide high-quality services including improved convenience for customers.”

The latest announcement from Bitpoint saw a 19% drop in the shares of Bitpoint owner Remixpoint, falling to “their daily lower limit, and were untraded in Tokyo as of 1:44 p.m. on a glut of sell orders,” Bloomberg reported.

Japan recently revised its laws to bring more clarity and impose stricter controls over cryptocurrencies. It has amended the Funds Settlement Act and the Financial Instruments and Exchange Act – both of which govern cryptocurrency regulation. It will come into effect next April.

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