Japanese cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck announced today that it lost over 500 million NEM tokens, worth over $500 million at the time of the incident.
The company admitted to being hacked earlier today in a conference with local media. Coincheck said it alerted local law enforcement after detecting the hack.
Users started suspecting something was wrong after Coincheck suspended NEM deposits earlier today, only to stop all NEM trading a few hours later, and then halting all payments on the entire site.
According to currently available information, the hacker(s) stole only NEM tokens, a recently launched cryptocurrency, ranked the tenth digital currency in the world, based on market cap.
NEM trading price dropped from $1 to $0.8 following the hack announcement. It is believed the hacker stole almost 7% of all NEM tokens currently in circulation.
Kaspersky researcher Costin Raiu also pointed out earlier today that Coincheck also moved $110 million worth of Ripple (XRP) cryptocurrency after the hack.
Coincheck did not admit to losing Ripple funds in the incident, and some users speculated that the company simply moved funds to a more secure location to safeguard them from a possible theft, just in case the hacker still had access to their systems.
In the annals of cryptocurrency exchange platform hacks, the Coincheck incident is now the biggest hack ever, surpassing the Mt. Gox incident from 2014 when hackers stole over $450 million worth of Bitcoin.
Coincheck was founded in 2012, is based in Tokyo, Japan, and was in the middle of getting a license from the Japanese government to operate as a legitimate cryptocurrency exchange in the country.