- After hours of speculation Friday night, Coincheck Inc. said the coins were sent “illicitly” outside the venue. Co-founder Yusuke Otsuka said the company didn’t know how the 500 million tokens went missing, and the firm is working to ensure the safety of all client assets. Coincheck said earlier it had suspended all withdrawals, halted trading in all tokens except Bitcoin, and stopped deposits into NEM coins.
“We know where the funds were sent,” Otsuka said during a late-night press conference at the Tokyo Stock Exchange. “We are tracing them and if we’re able to continue tracking, it may be possible to recover them. But it is something we are investigating at the moment."
The disappearance likely ranks among the biggest losses or thefts of investor assets since the advent of digital currencies with the launch of Bitcoin in 2009. Japan’s Financial Services Agency said in a statement it is “looking into the facts surrounding Coincheck.”