The Tokyo-based exchange said in a statement it would reimburse the 260,000 customers affected by the $400 million heist of digital currency NEM, "at a rate of 88.549 yen (81 U.S. cents) for each coin", Bloomberg News reported. However, Coincheck officials admitted the company had not taken this security step with regard to the NEM virtual currency because it lacked the technological skills and personnel.
Coincheck confirmed late on Friday of the theft approximately $400 worth of NEM tokens from the exchange's wallet.
Like bitcoin, NEM is a cryptocurrency built on top of blockchain, but it uses a more environmentally-friendly method to confirm transactions. "We are advising our customers to avoid making deposits until the restriction on NEM has been lifted".
The incident could be one of the largest single losses of cryptocurrency ever, rivaling only the 2014 hack of online exchange Mt. Gox. Back in November, Tether said it lost $31 million due to an attack while EtherDelta suspended its exchange service for a period in December after it was compromised. The exchange trades 13 different cryptocurrencies.
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Soon after the company began shutting down operations, $123 million worth Ripple coin was transferred to another wallet.
Coincheck have said the currency was sent "illicitly" outside the venue. Coincheck had however not obtained this license and was not under the regulating authority.
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The exchange is now investigating how many customers were impacted by the hack, and has said it is considering possible responses, including compensation for those whose NEM was taken.
It is hard to ascertain the impact of the loss of Coincheck's trading volumes on the overall cryptocurrency ecosystem.
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