Japanese cryptocurrency exchange, CoincheckInc had on Friday experienced one of the biggest heist in history to the tune of USD$500 million.
Three days later, the theft of nearly USD$500 million in digital tokens is still reverberating through cryptocurrency markets and policy circles around the world.
The episode, disclosed by Coincheck executives at a hastily arranged press conference on Friday night, comes at an awkward time for Japanese regulators, who began rolling out a new licensing system for cryptocurrency venues just a few months ago. It has heightened calls for closer oversight and may influence a closely watched debate in neighboring South Korea over whether to ban digital-asset exchanges outright.
While Bitcoin and its ilk have mostly recovered from their selloff on Friday — thanks in part to Coincheck’s assurances over the weekend that customers would be reimbursed — market observers say concerns over security lapses at cryptocurrency exchanges are likely to persist. They may even push some investors toward peer-to-peer methods of trading that don’t rely on centralized platforms.