01-26-2018: Coincheck Confirms Hack of Nearly $500 Million

Tokyo-based cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck has confirmed that it has suffered what appears to be the biggest hack in the history of crypto. In a press conference the exchange’s president and chief operating officer estimated its loss at 58 billion yen (approx. $533 million). According to Bloomberg, which attended the conference, 500 million NEM tokens were taken from Coincheck’s digital wallets. It was revealed that Coincheck was not registered with Japan’s Financial Services Agency, but now plans to do so as Coincheck’s president said he “deeply regretted” the issue (coindesk).

Australia’s Brisbane Airport has announced it will roll out cryptocurrency payments within the terminal shopping areas. The new payment system, provided by cryptocurrency travel firm TravelbyBit, will enable travellers to use bitcoin, ethereum, dash and other digital currencies to shop and dine at various stores and restaurants across both of Brisbane’s air terminals. Roel Hellemons, Brisbane Airport Corporation’s (BAC) general manager of strategic planning and development, said that the airport is the first worldwide to incorporate cryptocurrency payments. The move, he said, “makes sense” because many people who have invested in cryptocurrencies travel internationally (coindesk).

Andreas Antonopoulos has said he doesn’t expect regulated exchanges such as Coinbase to run the Lightning Network as it gains mainstream acceptance. Antonopoulos believes that KYC obligations exchanges face are incompatible with the nature of Lightning, which recently launched a limited yet rapidly-growing mainnet implementation. The upgrade to the Bitcoin network promises vastly reduced transaction times and fees, yet its tentative 230-node launch is still experimental, with various parties warning users not to use it until suitable advances have been made or face losing money. He stated “I don’t think Coinbase will run Lightning, and I think there are many reasons why we’re not going to see regulated exchanges run Lightning Hubs” (bitcoinist).

The Philippines Securities and Exchange Commission filed a cease-and-desist order against four companies and an operator running an initial coin offering (ICO), citing securities registration regulations, a newly released document reveals. The order, dated Jan. 9, 2018 and posted on the agency’s website today, cites four affiliated companies as operators of the KropCoin token sale, claiming to sell “the world’s first agriculture marketplace crypto equity ICO.” The document also identifies Filipino resident Joseph Calata as a founder or executive for all four companies. While ICOs are not regulated within the country, the SEC’s Enforcement and Investor Protection Department (EIPD) claims that “there is substantial evidence that [the companies] are selling or offering securities in the form of KROPS Tokens and/or Kropcoins to the public, in the Philippines, without the necessary license from the Commission” (coindesk).

And lastly, Swedish bank Nordea has ordered all of its employees to stop trading in cryptocurrencies. According to a recent report by Reuters, the Nordic region’s biggest bank has forbidden its 31,000 employees from trading Bitcoin due its high risks and volatility. A spokesman for Nordea told Reuters: “The risks are seen as too high and the protection is insufficient for both the co-workers and the bank” (bitcoinist).

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