$530 million NEM ‘soap-opera’ theft continues. Recently, the Japanese exchange Coincheck, which sustained a massive cyber-attack, notified that it plans to repay 260,000 hack victims their losses. In the meantime, hackers started moving thieved XEM (NEM) tokens.
Covering The Tracks
On January 30, one of NEM Foundation executives – Jeff McDonald – told Reuters that hackers, who swiped approximately $530 million of NEM from Coincheck last Friday, were attempting to move the thieved funds out.
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The company, which developed altcoin XEM, has tracked the thieved tokens to an unknown account. According to the words of the executive, the owner of that account then started putting efforts to transfer NEM coins to six cyber money trading platforms to vend them. However, the whereabouts of the hacker’s account was not identified.
“[The hackers are] trying to spend them on multiple exchanges. We are contacting those exchanges,” said McDonald.
At the same time, he noted that hackers could not sell out all the stolen coins at a time because the market merely could not devour that much. This makes McDonald assume that malefactors won’t get away easily with such a sum. They might try swapping stolen NEM coins into other platforms before cashing them out, but it will take quite a lot of time.
The Foundation’s representative Alexandra Tinsman, in her turn, informed that the intruder had begun vending out cryptos to occasional accounts in 100 NEM bunches each worth $83.
Finance Minister Aso Weighs In
As on Monday, January 29, Japanese Financial Services Agency informed about its plans to probe the security conditions of other crypto exchanges based in the country, the very next day Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso called platforms to firm their supervision systems. He said that the Coincheck case a ‘great regret’ in the history of Japanese crypto market.
“We will appropriately weigh the balance between promotion of innovation and protection of users in (supervising) cryptocurrency exchanges,” said Aso.
Moreover, the country’s upper financial diplomat Masatsugu Asakawa even said that regulation over cyber money has chances to appear on the agenda at the G20 appointment of finance ministers in Argentina in two months.
Coincheck to Repay Lost XEMs
After the disruptive crack, Coincheck pledged to recoup the stolen sums to accounts of 260,000 platform users. For each coin held on the account, customers were guaranteed to receive around $0.81 from the platform.
At the moment of writing, one unit of NEM is traded at $0.75, having lost as much as 9.62% within the past 24 hours. By the way, on the day it was announced that Coincheck suffered a hack, the price of NEM drastically dropped from $1 to $0.76, losing over 20% in value in few hours. And even though on January 27 NEM soared back to its $1, it started slowly plunging to the previous anti-record.
The reimbursement is set to be completed in Japanese yen (88.549 JPY) through the Coincheck wallet. The platform assured that this rate was chosen as it was the closest one to that price, which was fixed on January 26, when the cyber-attack occurred.
One in a Million: How Massive Was the Coincheck Pillage?
It is crucial to emphasize that the NEM coins, which hackers stole, made up about 5% of the total XEM supply. And NEM is the 10th most significant cyber currency on the Coinmarketcap.com list.
According to Reuters, there have been at least 30 severe lootings on crypto trading platforms within the past seven years. A plethora of cracked exchanges was later closed down. In total, over 980,000 BTC units have been thieved, and only few have been restored.
The most known case remains the one connected with Japanese exchange Mt. Gox, which once held 80% of global BTC trades. Back in 2014, it announced that it was insolvent after forfeiting approximately $500 million of bitcoins.