It’s happened again, folks. Another hacking is in the books, and this time, the victims are the customers of a cryptocurrency exchange called Bit Point in Japan.
Bit Point Has Been Hit Hard
It is reported that roughly $32 million in crypto funds were stolen from the company’s hot wallet storage, most of which were funds belonging to customers. At press time, all the exchange’s services are suspended, including withdrawals and deposits. In addition, executives say that the company’s cold wallet storage has not been affected and that further activity hasn’t been noticed.
Among the cryptocurrencies that were stolen include bitcoin, Ripple’s XRP and ether tokens. The hack allegedly took place during a period when the company was transferring funds on Thursday night.
This is a serious problem that Japan keeps facing, and it’s clear that while the nation is open to crypto assets, it doesn’t know how to monitor them. The country is home to two of the largest cryptocurrency hacks to ever occur. The first is Mt. Gox, which took place in February of 2014. The exchange lost more than $400 million in crypto funds, many of which were never recovered.
The second took place in January 2018. Hackers targeted the cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck, which ultimately lost more than half-a-million in assorted crypto funds. Together, both Mt. Gox and Coincheck account for roughly $1 billion in losses, if not more.
Following the Coincheck fiasco, the country’s government asked the Financial Services Agency (FSA) to get involved and begin examining crypto exchanges to assure they met current safety standards. The FSA then began sending out nasty and threatening notes to assorted platforms saying the time had come to either shape up or ship out. Regulators explained that all exchanges who didn’t meet set standards would be forced into a period of suspension either temporarily or permanently.
Japan Needs to Step Things Up
Bit Point was one of the exchanges examined by the FSA following Coincheck. At press time, it’s unclear if the system’s fate is sealed or if the company will go out of business soon, but one thing’s for sure… Japan needs to really step it up when it comes to crypto monitorization. The nation is home to several of the world’s biggest exchange hacks, and regulators are consistently being made to look bad in the eyes of the world.
The country doesn’t want to stifle innovation when it comes to crypto. That much is clear. Bitcoin has been a legal form of payment for the last two years, but while we can respect Japan’s attitude towards digital assets, more must be done to prevent illicit activity and protect customers. Otherwise, the country, despite its open-mindedness, runs the risk of going down in history as one of the least successful regions when it comes to crypto.