Coincheck, a Japan-based cryptocurrency exchange, is reeling after being hit by hackers who looted $530 million worth of bitcoin from 260,000 site users. The electronic heist is the largest known grab of electronic cash on record and is sending shock waves through the bitcoin world.

Word of the heist emerged this weekend and was reported on extensively by CNN and other financial news outlets.

Officials at Coincheck, which is billed as “the leading bitcoin and cryptocurrency exchange in Asia, claim that they’ll refund at least part of the stolen bitcoin though it’s not clear where they would come up with the cash it fulfill that promise. As of this writing, the site has access to around $426 million in funds available to reimburse its users. Company officials have not yet responded to media inquiries about where the extra payback cash is coming from.

In a blog post regarding the matter, company officials offered an apology saying:

We realize that this illicit transfer of funds from our platform and the resulting suspension in services has caused immense distress to our customers, other exchanges, and people throughout the cryptocurrency industry, and we would like to offer our deepest and humblest apologies to all of those involved.

One thing that’s less murky than where the payback money is coming is the fact that the folks at Coincheck are going to be spending a lot of time with government investigators in the days and weeks ahead. According to CNN, government regulators and investigators are already at Coincheck investigating the heist and overseeing the remittance process.

Prior to this weekend’s attack, the largest bitcoin heist in history was the looting of Mt Gox in which hackers made off with more than $400 million in electronic cash.


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