Coincheck Resumes Yen Withdrawals, Lawsuit on Its Way
On Tuesday, just weeks after the major theft, Japanese cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck resumed yen withdrawals on the trading platform.
According to The Japan Times, Coincheck plans to process the request of yen withdrawals on a first come first serve basis and, according to one of its sources, the withdrawal requests amount to roughly $280 million.
Prompted by the $533 million theft of NEM tokens, the Financial Services Agency (FSA) has conducted an on-site inspection of the exchange to ensure a proper risk management system. The FSA also issued a business improvement order and asked the exchange to submit a detailed report on the steps it is taking to prevent future attacks. Coincheck today submitted its business improvement plan, assuring the affected customers that the exchange will reimburse them for their financial losses, however, the FSA will determine whether the exchange operator has the appropriate financial strength to reimburse around 260,000 holders of NEM coins.
Meanwhile, a group of traders are set to file a lawsuit against Coincheck on Thursday, Reuters reports.
As many as ten traders are bringing this suit to the Tokyo District Court over Coincheck freezing withdrawals of cryptocurrencies. Representing the plaintiffs, Hiromu Mochizuki updates progress reports of the case on Twitter and reaches out to other “victims”, asking them to join the lawsuit.
コインチェック社が今朝から日本円の出金に応じ始めたようです。これで #ã³ã¤ã³ãã§ãã¯è¢«å®³å¯¾çå¼è·å£ が請求を予定していた4つの請求のうち、1つが解決したので、残り3つの法的請求を行う予定です。仮想通貨の取り戻し請求は、その1つです。
— 望月宣武Hiromu MOCHIZUKI (@166mochizuki) February 13, 2018
The FSA’s role
Last year in April, Japan revised its fund settlement laws after the 2014 Mt. Gox shutdown. The authorities now oversee that exchanges operate according to these laws.
Coincheck is on 16 cryptocurrency exchange operators that currently await regulatory approval. Based on the new laws, Japanese authorities have approved 16 other exchange operators.
The FSA itself has faced criticism after the hack, as many question its role in safeguarding the customers’ interest. The watchdog is now getting very strict with cryptocurrency exchanges and has already issued a warning to Macau-based cryptocurrency exchange operator Blockchain Laboratory Ltd. for neglecting to register with the government.
The Japan Times quotes Japanese Financial Minister Taro Aso: “Through our on-site inspections, we will make sure that customers are protected.”