coincheck crypto exchange office
Japan-based crypto exchange Coincheck was hacked for more than $500 million worth of cryptocurrency in 2018. | Source: Shutterstock

Japanese Bitcoin Exchange Coincheck that Lost $500M to Receive Full Licensing By End of Year

Readers may recall the January hack that cost Coincheck over $500 million. The largest theft in cryptocurrency history, the hack saw the exploitation of a vulnerability in the exchange’s security system and culminated in the loss of more than 500 million. New Economy Movement tokens, each worth over $1. As CCN’s Josiah Wilmoth wrote at the time:

Notably, though, Tokyo-based Bloomberg reporter Yuji Nakamura said that Coincheck had not yet received an exchange license from Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA). The deadline was October, but the FSA had extended a grace period to the company.

After months during which the exchange was sold and made key changes (twice at the urging of the Japanese government) to its operations, Japanese media reported today that Coincheck would be receiving a license after all by year’s end. No longer even operated by the same people, it began taking on new clients back in the beginning of November.

One of the changes it made was the delisting of three privacy coins, Monero, Zcash, and Dash. The exchange said that delisting these tokens was part of its business strategy to protect customers. It’s likely it had a lot to do with the licensing process – with all three of these blockchains, in the event of a future hack, the destination addresses could be hidden much easier.


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Coincheck Currently a Middling Exchange

Coincheck compensated users for lost NEM but it has seen vastly decreased usage over the months.

Coincheck only lists a few crypto tokens compared to competitors like Binance, which accounts for its lower volume.

At time of writing, Coincheck had done $22 million in volume over the past 24 hours, putting it in the middle of the list of top exchanges by volume. The licensing announcement is likely to re-position the exchange in the Japanese market, but fellow Asian exchange Binance continues to be the leader in the global market as a whole. A large portion of Binance’s volume is born of its huge variety of pairs, while Coincheck primarily focuses on fiat/BTC markets.

According to Nikkei, over 200 other crypto businesses and exchanges in Japan are awaiting approval from the Japanese Financial Service Agency, which announced a framework for regulating ICOs earlier this year.