Tokyo Court Orders First Cryptocurrency Seizure in Japan

Tokyo District Court ordered the first ever cryptocurrency seizure in the country last week, worth $46,000 of Bitcoin (BTC). The seized cryptoassets related to the Coincheck hack in 2018.

The seizure comes after Tokyo police arrested two men in March in connection with the hack against Coincheck Exchange. One is a doctor from Hokkaido and the other is an executive from Osaka Prefecture, according to Japanese media.

The arrested men were accused of purchasing stolen cryptocurrency in the form of NEM (XEM) through the dark web. The publication clarified that both men knew about the illicit status of the currency, which violates the organised crime laws of Japan.

In January 2018, Coincheck announced that more than $500 million of its NEM cryptocurrency was stolen from its wallets.  

NEM is a peer-to-peer cryptocurrency and blockchain platform. It evolved in 2015 as a version of the NXT, another popular blockchain-based virtual currency and payment network platform. NEM has its own cryptocurrency, called XEM. It currently supports one wallet, called Nano wallet.

The announced data revealed that all the stolen NEM was exchanged for Bitcoin or Lightcoin, then was spread over 13,000 cryptocurrency accounts. It also added that some of the NEM obtained by the arrested suspects was remitted to an online cryptocurrency exchange.

While the arrested men are complicit in purchasing the stolen cryptocurrency, it has been revealed that Coincheck employees’ personal computers have been found to be infected with a virus linked to Russian hackers.

Th Japanese exchange suffered another attack in June 2020 including access to the platform’s domain registration service, Japanese media announced.

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Hanan Hamed 48 Articles
a bilingual journalist. She writes in both Arabic and English. She has been writing news and features for 7 years now. She is specialized in business and economic news.