$400 Million Goes Missing From Japanese Crypto Exchange Coincheck

Image: Coincheck
Image: Coincheck

Through means currently unknown, approximately 500 million NEM tokens were exfiltrated from leading Japanese cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck, valued at approximately $400 million. Bloomberg reports that, aside from Bitcoin, all trading on the platform has been suspended.


To give a sense of scale, all the money lost or stolen in initial coin offerings is estimated to be worth around $400 million. When the Mt. Gox exchange collapsed in early 2014, nearly cratering Bitcoin along with it, the value of the 750,000 stolen bitcoins was in excess of $424 million at the time Mt. Gox cratered. (Today, those same coins are worth more than $8.3 billion.) Although there’s considerably more money wrapped up the crypto space than four years ago, Coincheck’s disappearing NEM act still ranks among the worst breaches.

Japan’s Financial Services Agency is continuing to investigate the situation.


Senior reporter. Tech + labor /// bgmwrites@gmail.com Keybase: keybase.io/bryangm Securedrop: http://gmg7jl25ony5g7ws.onion/


So I am wrapping up graduate school (Computer Science) and I was down at the university doing some faculty interviews and having dinner when I was approached by two young men (presumably undergrad students) about a “new exciting investment opportunity” called “bitcoin” and they are hosting a free seminar about it.

They started asking me questions about my income and I replied that I work at Gamestop making minimum wage (not true, but I wanted to hear what they had to say).

“STOP RIGHT THERE BRO!... What if I told you that you can make $500 A WEEK in trading BITCOIN!?”

“Really!?” I replied

“Bro... I drained my entire bank account into the crypto market last month and I am killing it!”

So I asked him how exactly bitcoin works.

“So these computers make big numbers. So long you cannot even count them by hand bro. And we just trade those numbers over the internet! It is called block chain!”

He went rambling on and I finally stopped him. I asked if he really had any idea how “proof of work” block chain REALLY works. He gave me a weird look and asked “What is proof of work?”

What can possibly go wrong with all this?