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Coincheck CEO Koichiro Wada (left) and COO Yusuke Otsuka.

Japan's Coincheck suffers record $530m virtual currency theft

Customer protection may have taken backseat to business expansion

Nikkei staff writers | Japan

TOKYO -- Cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck has confirmed that some 58 billion yen ($534 million) in customers' virtual currency holdings were taken from its wallets Friday, in what appears to be the biggest virtual currency heist to date.

At around 3 a.m. Friday, essentially all NEM -- a type of virtual currency -- held by the Tokyo-based exchange was illicitly transferred out of its digital coffers. Coincheck discovered the breach after 11 a.m., and soon halted withdrawals in all currencies. Trading is on hold for all virtual currencies except bitcoin.

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