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Tokyo

  • $400 million worth of cryptocurrency has disappeared from a Japanese exchange.
  • 500 million NEM coins vanished, according to officials at CoinCheck.

$400 million worth of cryptocurrency has vanished and no one is sure exactly what happened.

CoinCheck, a prominent cryptocurrency exchange based in Tokyo, said 500 million NEM coins vanished after they were “illicitly” transferred off the exchange, according to a Bloomberg News report.

Company officials said during a late night press conference at the Tokyo Stock Exchange that they didn’t know how the 500 million NEM coins went missing, but they’re working to ensure the safety of all client assets,” the report said.

The company halted trading of alt-coins and disabled all withdrawals on the platform at 4:33 p.m. local time, according to its website.

Both bitcoin and NEM tumbled after the news broke. Bitcoin recouped its losses and by 11:14 a.m. ET was up 0.35% against the US dollar at $11,193 a coin, according to Markets Insider data.

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NEM, according to data provider CoinMarketCap, was trading down 8% at $0.86 a coin.

Lukman Otunuga, a research analyst at FXTM, said the news adds to the storm of negative headlines cryptocurrencies and bitcoin have had to weather this week.

“Sentiment towards the cryptocurrency is turning increasingly bearish amid regulation fears, with recent news of a massive exchange in Japan halting client withdrawals further souring investor appetite,” Otunuga said in an email.

“In the past, Bitcoin displayed unyielding resilience against a slew of negativity, but now price action suggests that bulls are tired, exhausted and close to waving the white flag,” Otunuga concluded.

Still, the cryptocurrency world has weathered such storms in the past. Mt. Gox, a former Japanese cryptocurrency exchange, filed for bankruptcy Read More Here