Nearly $530 million lost in world’s biggest crypto-currency theft in Japan

China Central Television (CCTV) – A major Japanese crypto-currency exchange has lost 58 billion yen (about 528 million U.S. dollars) in digital assets after a hacking attack, making it the world’s biggest ever digital currency theft.

Tokyo-based Coincheck, one of the largest digital currency exchanges in Japan, said that hackers stole NEM tokens worth 58 billion yen from its platform on Friday. NEM is among the 10 biggest crypto-currencies in the world by market capitalization.

The exchange has halted withdrawals for virtual currencies and transactions for all but Bitcoin.

Following news of the heist, the broader crypto-currency market suffered sharp declines, with NEM slumping 20 percent in just five hours and Bitcoin down 10 percent at one point.

To some extent, the theft has also dampened investor enthusiasm for digital currencies.

“I have lost about one million yen. I was shocked, finding it difficult to trust virtual currencies. Others probably will no longer invest in them as well,” said a customer of Coincheck.

“Money cannot be kept in insecure places. I won’t consider investing unless there is a reliable platform providing such services,” said a Tokyo resident.

Customers can purchase and sell 13 types of digital currencies at Coincheck which was founded in 2012. Transactions on the platform once accounted for half of the country’s total.