Over $6.2 mln (662.4 mln yen) of cryptocurrency was lost in 2017 due to fraud and theft, according to statistics released from Japan’s National Police Agency (NPA), local news outlet Nikkei reports today, March 22.
This number does not include the over $500 mln hack of NEM from Japanese crypto exchange Coincheck in late January.
Nikkei writes that 16 virtual currency exchanges and 3 companies with crypto wallets -- not noting any by name -- were the victims of all of the 2017 recorded crypto hacks, according to the NPA. Out of the 149 cases of “unauthorized access” to crypto accounts, in about 80 percent of cases (122 cases) the wallets did not use “two-factor authentication,” only using ID and password, Nikkei reports.
The currencies that make up the largest percentage of the hack are Bitcoin (BTC) (85 BTC lost), Ripple (XRP) (55 XRP), with 13 other altcoins included as well.
By NPA data, the number of hacks increased per month as BTC’s price increased -- 9 unauthorized attempts in April 2017, 19 in May, and 41 in June. There were 425 cases of illegal online transfers of fiat currencies, which is less than ¼ of the amount noted by the NPA in 2014.
After the Jan. Coincheck hack, Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) conducted on-site inspections of the 15 as-of-yet unregistered Japanese crypto exchanges. Of the 15, 7 were then given business improvement notices, and 2 had their operations temporarily suspended, due to a lack of “the proper and required internal control systems.”