A cryptocurrency exchange in Japan has admitted that it was hacked and lost 3.5 billion yen ($32 million) of digital currency, according to reports.
The company, based in Tokyo, is called Remixpoint, and it runs an exchange called BITPoint. The company also has used car, travel and energy businesses. The company apologized for the hack on Friday (July 12), saying that the losses were confirmed a day before.
The complete picture of the hack and theft is under investigation, and the theft included Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple and other well known digital currencies.
Two-thirds of the losses affected customers of the exchange, the company said, and the rest belonged to the company. Transactions have been stopped in the meantime.
Japan, which set up a licensing system to oversee crypto use, has been fairly open to digital currencies from the beginning, even though there have been some newsworthy digital thefts in the past. The traditional banking system in the country has been more skeptical, however.
According to Remixpoint, the money was stolen from what’s called a “hot wallet,” which has less security than a “cold wallet.” The company said that as soon as it finishes the investigation it will release the information to the public.
The bank is worried that the currency will be difficult to regulate and that it could potentially harm the existing financial system.
“It will move money into an absolutely virtual world, so it is completely different than other forms of digital payment,” an unnamed BOJ official is quoted as saying.
Some are worried that the fact that Libra could be tied to several national currencies means that Facebook is trying to avoid being under control from any particular country.
Haruhiko Kuroda, the governor of the BOJ, said he’s going to “keep careful watch” on how cryptocurrencies will affect the payments status quo, and whether they’ll become everyday payment methods.
There’s also the worry that Japanese money paid to Facebook to buy Libra would then get put into Japan’s bigger banks by Facebook, which could harm smaller ones. Also, more demand for government securities because of Libra could cause interest rates to dip, and that could also potentially hurt the country’s economy.