A Bitcoin exchange in Tokyo halted services on July 12 and announced a major hack. Bitpoint, a Japan-based and licensed cryptocurrency exchange, was hacked for $32 million or $3.5 billion yen. Customers received an email alerting them to the fact that Bitpoint would cease all services while it investigates.
Bitpoint ceased trading, deposit and withdrawal services of all crypto assets on Friday after an irregular withdrawal from its hot wallet on Thursday. The exchange only offered trading for bitcoin, bitcoin cash, ether, litecoin and XRP. The hot wallet compromised held bitcoin, bitcoin cash, and Ripple.
According to Bitpoint parent company’s Remixpoint Inc. announcement, $23 million of the stolen funds belonged to customers, meaning about one quarter of the funds belong to the exchange itself. No funds have gone missing from cold wallets.
Shares of Bitpoint’s Remixpoint Inc fell 19% after the news broke and were affected by a “glut of sell orders.”
The Japanese Financial Services Authority (FSA) sent Bitpoint an operational improvement order last year. The order was reversed at the end of June.
The news is just the latest breach out of Japan. Zaif, an exchange licensed under the Japanese Financial Services Agency, was hacked for $60 million worth of cryptocurrency. Coincheck was hacked earlier last year, with more than $520 million worth of cryptocurrencies stolen.
Japan has been laissez-faire with cryptocurrencies, having set up a licensing system to oversee their use. Bitcoin has been a legal form of payment in Japan since April 2017.
Fintech research firm MEDICI reported at the end of May that $920.03 million of $2.71 billion crypto exchange and wallet hacks worldwide over the course of eight years.