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Cryptocurrency

Hackers snatch $32m from Japan cryptocurrency exchange Bitpoint

Operator promises compensation in case echoing Coincheck theft

Once again, a Japanese cryptocurrency exchange has been breached by hackers. 

TOKYO -- Japanese cryptocurrency exchange operator Bitpoint has lost 3.5 billion yen ($32 million) in a hacking attack, parent company Remixpoint announced on Friday.

Bitpoint stopped web transactions for customers early in the morning and stopped all services at 10:30 a.m. The case echoes an attack on rival exchange Coincheck last year, where hackers made off with the equivalent of $500 million, sending shock waves through the industry.

According to a press release, Bitpoint detected an error alert late Thursday night in connection with transfers of Ripple, a type of cryptocurrency. By 2 a.m. on Friday morning, it had confirmed unlawful transfers of other types of cryptocurrencies as well.

Funds that had been collected from customers accounted for 2.5 billion yen of the 3.5 billion yen that was stolen. Remixpoint said its unit would compensate the customers.

Remixpoint shares, which are listed on the second section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange, plunged as much as 18% from the previous close at one point in afternoon trading.

Bitpoint received an operational improvement order from the Financial Services Agency last year, after the regulators determined its internal controls were flawed. The order was lifted at the end of last month.

As of early Friday afternoon, it was unclear when the exchange would resume operations.

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