This Thursday, Japanese cryptocurrency exchange Zaif revealed that it had lost close to BTC 6000 ($38.46 million), along with an unspecified amount of Monacoin (MONA) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH), after hackers managed to gain access to its wallet.
In a statement released on its website, the exchange said that losses, including the stolen Monacoin and Bitcoin Cash, totalled ¥6.7 billion ($59.58 million). Japan’s National Police Agency (NPA) also released a report this Thursday indicating that in the first half of 2018 alone, hackers stole $540 million-worth of cryptocurrency from Japanese exchanges.
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It’s worth emphasising that this astonishing figure doesn’t even include the $59.58 million that was stolen from Zaif today. Clients of the exchange probably won’t find much consolation in knowing they helped tip total hacking losses of the year over the $600 million mark.
Currently, in addition to BTC and MONA, BCH deposit / withdrawal is suspended due to server failure. We are investigating for recovery. Please refrain from depositing / withdrawing money.
Moreover, settlement by ZaifPayment is also stopped. We’re sorry for the inconvenience.
— Zaif – 暗号通貨取引所 (@zaifdotjp) September 17, 2018
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Zaif flutters its wings, GMO’s clients panic
Less astonishing and more bizarre is the fact that Zaif knows the total value of the cryptocurrency it lost. According to a statement released by the firm, it can’t reveal how much Monacoin and Bitcoin Cash was stolen because it isn’t yet safe to restart Zaif’s servers.
If that’s the case, then one has to ask where they got the ¥6.7 billion-figure from. After all, if you don’t know how much Monacoin and Bitcoin Cash was stolen, how can you say what it’s total value is?
Worried investors certainly have reason to be anxious but there is something positive to take away from Zaif’s statement. The exchange revealed that, of the assets lost, ¥2.2 billion ($19.56 million) belonged to the company. Remember folks, every cloud has a schadenfreude lining.
As a result of the shitstorm now raining down on Zaif, traders using another Japanese cryptocurrency exchange, GMO, started to fret that their assets had been stolen too.
That forced GMO to issue their own statement on Thursday afternoon. Assuring customers that hackers hadn’t managed to get their cash, GMO said they had “confirmed there is no problem.”
As is evident from the NPA’s report, hacks on exchanges continue to plague the cryptocurrency industry. This is despite cryptocurrency fanboys endlessly reminding everyone that blockchain is ‘decentralised’ – something that has no meaning when nearly all cryptocurrency traders store their coins on centralised exchanges.