Japan hit by another cryptocurrency heist, $60m stolen

Japanese cryptocurrency firm Tech Bureau said about $60m in digital currencies were stolen from its exchange, highlighting the industry’s vulnerability despite recent efforts by authorities to make it more secure.

Tech Bureau, which had already been slapped with two business improvement orders by regulators this year, said its Zaif exchange was hacked over a two-hour period on September 14. It detected server problems on September 17, confirmed the hack the following day, and notified authorities, the exchange said on Thursday.

Following the hack, Tech Bureau said it had agreed with JASDAQ-listed Fisco to receive a ¥5bn ($44.59m) investment in exchange for majority ownership. The proceeds from the investment would be used to replace the digital currencies stolen from client accounts.

However, Fisco said in a statement the ¥5bn in “financial assistance” may change in value if the amount affected by the heist changes upon further investigation.

Documents seen by Reuters on Thursday showed Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) would conduct emergency checks on cryptocurrency exchange operators’ management of customer assets, following the theft. FSA officials were not immediately available for comment.

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