A hacking theft that netted $530 million, a ban on Facebook advertising, regulation even in Russia and more wild price swings: despite another stomach-churning week for cryptocurrencies, analysts say they are here to stay. While headline-grabbing hacks like that suffered by Japan’s Coincheck are likely to attract the attention of regulators, experts say the “Teflon” crypto boom is now part of the economic landscape.
Cryptocurrencies have “been down numerous times, but always able to get off the canvas,” Stephen Innes, head of Asia-Pacific trading at OANDA, told AFP. Virtual currencies have certainly taken some hefty blows recently.
In the dead of night, hackers stole $530 million in Japanese virtual currency from Coincheck, sending prices plunging and underlining the vulnerability, and volatility, of cryptocurrencies. The January 26 hack appears to be the largest cryptocurrency theft ever, exceeding even the $480 million stolen in 2014 from another Japanese virtual currency exchange, MtGox.
In the wake of the MtGox theft, Japan’s government introduced regulations requiring exchanges to obtain a government-issued licence. And the news from Coincheck again piqued regulators’ interest, with Finance Minister Taro Aso admitting this week that the government “needs to strengthen our supervision.”
Coincheck “did not store the important things separately. I think they lacked fundamental knowledge or common sense,” he said. Read more from phys.org…
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