TOKYO: Japanese cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck Inc, which lost about US$500mil to hackers last month, has begun letting some users to make withdrawals in yen.
The Tokyo-based company began accepting requests to withdraw yen deposited there and social media posts by some customers showed requests being processed.
One individual contacted by Bloomberg News provided documents showing that about 106 million yen (US$970,000) was successfully moved from Coincheck to the person’s bank account yesterday morning in Tokyo.
Coincheck has promised to reimburse victims of the US$500mil hack, but has not begun that process or provided details of its plan.
The exchange said last week it would restart yen withdrawals yesterday, though it hasn’t said when other currencies deposited there can be withdrawn. Several phone calls, e-mails and text messages to exchange representatives were unanswered.
Coincheck faces a deadline to explain how the hack occurred and plans for improving its security to regulators at Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA). The FSA will decide whether to grant an operating licence to the exchange after reviewing Coincheck’s response.
Coincheck is still allowing users to trade Bitcoin, but has frozen all other activity on its platform.
Separately, the FSA yesterday ordered Macau-based Blockchain Laboratory Ltd to stop operating in Japan without a licence. The startup offers seminars and consulting services on cryptocurrencies in Japanese, according to its website.
Co-founder Jay Liu said he could not immediately discuss FSA’s order, while FSA officials said the company was not applying for an exchange licence. — Bloomberg
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