Japanese cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck Inc., which lost about $500 million to hackers last month, has begun letting some users to make withdrawals in yen.
The Tokyo-based company on Tuesday began accepting requests to withdraw yen deposited there and social media posts by some customers showed requests being processed. One individual contacted by Bloomberg News provided documents showing that about 106 million yen ($970,000) was successfully moved from Coincheck to the person’s bank account this morning in Tokyo.
Coincheck has promised to reimburse victims of the $500 million hack, but has not begun that process or provided details of its plan. The exchange said last week it would restart yen withdrawals on Tuesday, though it hasn’t said when other currencies deposited there can be withdrawn. Several phone calls, emails and text messages to exchange representatives were unanswered on Tuesday.
Coincheck faces a deadline Tuesday to explain how the hack occurred and plans for improving its security to regulators at Japan’s Financial Services Agency. The FSA will decide whether to grant an operating license to the exchange after reviewing Coincheck’s response. Coincheck is still allowing users to trade Bitcoin, but has frozen all other activity on its platform.
Officials said they are urging Coincheck to hold a press briefing later on Tuesday.
Separately, the FSA on Tuesday ordered Macau-based Blockchain Laboratory Ltd. to stop operating in Japan without a license. The startup offers seminars and consulting services on cryptocurrencies in Japanese, according to its website. Co-founder Jay Liu said he could not immediately discuss FSA’s order, while FSA officials said the company was not applying for an exchange license.
— With assistance by Yuki Hagiwara, and Gareth Allan