2018 Coincheck hack investigation catches up with 30 people in Japan

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Authorities in Japan are currently targeting individuals for their suspected role in the January 2018 Coincheck Crypto Exchange Hack.

According to a January 22 article from the Japanese news agency Nikkei Asia, the police detained or referred approximately 30 people in Japan to the local prosecutor’s office for their suspected role in hacking one of the country’s cryptocurrency exchanges. In January 2018, hackers stole around $534 million worth of NEM (XEM) from Coincheck in what was—and still is—the biggest crypto exchange hack.

Nikkei Asia insists that according to an anonymous source, authorities have “traced the accounts at conventional cryptocurrency exchanges through which the hacked NEM was converted” to find 30 individuals. The news item reported that in cases involving persons, NEM tokens could exceed as much as 20 billion yen—approximately $193 million at the time of publishing.

After the attacks happened three years ago, prosecutors have argued that Russian hackers may have been partly responsible for infecting Coincheck workers’ personal computers with a virus. The virus may have allowed hackers to take over and run infected machines remotely.

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Until now, the Japanese authorities have made few arrests in connection with the Coincheck Hack. In March, local police arrested two men who were reported to have bought some of the stolen NEMs on the darknet market shortly after the attack. According to the police, each of them knew the sources of the money but nevertheless decided to buy the tokens at a substantial discount.


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