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Japan Digital Currecy Exchange Hacked  09/20 06:37

   TOKYO (AP) -- Hackers have stolen 6.7 billion yen ($60 million) worth of 
cryptocurrencies from a Japanese digital currency exchange, the operators said 
Thursday.

   Tech Bureau Corp. said a server for its Zaif exchange was hacked for two 
hours last week, and some digital currencies got unlawfully relayed from what's 
called a "hot wallet," or where virtual coins are stored at such exchanges.

   The exchange was taken offline until details of the damage could be 
confirmed, and efforts were underway to get it back working, Tech Bureau said.

   Japan has been bullish on virtual money and has set up a system requiring 
exchanges to be licensed to help protect consumers. The system is also meant to 
make Japan a global leader in the technology. Bitcoin has been a legal form of 
payment in Japan since April 2017, and a handful of major retailers here 
already accept bitcoin payments.

   But the recurrence of cryptocurrency heists shows problems persist. 

   Earlier this year, the Tokyo-based exchange Coincheck reported a 58 billion 
yen ($547 million) loss of a cryptocurrency called NEM from suspected criminal 
hacking.

   Coincheck, in operation since 2012, had been applying for a government 
license but had not yet gotten one. That led to industry-wide soul-searching, 
led by government financial regulators, to prevent such problems.

   Zaif got registered with the government last year. 

   The company said Thursday it had accepted a 5 billion yen ($45 million) 
offer from Fisco, a Tokyo-based investment company, for a majority stake in 
Tech Bureau, headquartered in Osaka.

   The cryptocurrencies stolen in last week's hack included Bitcoin and 
Monacoin. Of the stolen money, 2.2 billion yen ($20 million) belonged to the 
company, and the rest were customers' assets, according to Tech Bureau.

   Earlier this year, a glitch at Zaif allowed some people to buy 
cryptocurrencies for zero yen.


(KA)

 
 
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