Category Archives: Cryptocurrency

Circle wants more women to invest in cryptocurrency

Please share this article:

The earliest adopters of Bitcoin — the libertarian anarchist “cypherpunk” crowd — were mostly men. Today, roughly a decade after Satoshi Nakamoto’s famed white paper was released, the majority of cryptocurrency holders are still men.

This poses a problem for the companies betting on the mainstream adoption of cryptocurrency. At this point, they’ve already tapped into that core base of Bitcoin enthusiasts, namely Millenial men. But how do they reach more women? Or Gen Xers? Or Baby Boomers?

Crypto finance company Circle thinks accessible, educational resources are the answer. As of today, the company has added a new feature (pictured above) to their crypto investing app, Circle Invest. Their hope is that simple, jargon-free explainers — sort of a ‘Cryptocurrencies for Dummies’ built into the app — will make it easier for new demographics to get their foot in the door of the crypto universe and learn a thing or two along the way.

“A lot of the apps that exist on the market are geared toward folks that understand the market already and unfortunately, that tends to be men,” Circle’s head of product Divya Agarwalla told TechCrunch.

The inspiration for the new feature came after the results of a study showed a serious lack of diversity among crypto investors. The study, commissioned by Circle, surveyed 3,000 Millennials, Gen Xers and Baby Boomers in the U.S. and found that Millennial men are more than twice as likely to invest in crypto in the next year.

For anyone that has attended a blockchain event or crypto conference, this probably isn’t news. According to Coin.dance, roughly 95 percent of Bitcoin “community engagement” comes from men.

A strategic attempt to tap into a new user base is a natural step for Circle, which has long had ambitions of becoming the PayPal (and Venmo) of cryptocurrency.

Most people are familiar with Circle’s consumer-facing payments app, Circle Pay, though the company also operates a trading desk called Circle Trade, as well as Poloniex, another exchange platform the company tacked on via its acquisition of the company of the same name earlier this year. That deal, according to Fortune, was worth some $400 million.

Circle has raised about $250 million in venture capital funding to date from IDG Capital, Breyer Capital, General Catalyst, Accel, Digital Currency Group, Pantera, Blockchain Capital, Goldman Sachs, Tusk Ventures and more. A $110 million round in May valued the company at $3 billion. 

Please share this article:

ICO Token Misfortune is Crypto Hedge Funds Benefit, Reaching $5 Billion in Assets

Please share this article:

Greyspark, the capital consultancy company, has released a report which charts the evolving landscape of the world of cryptocurrency investment. And while the marketplace continues to mature, there are two profound changes taking place: the first being that Initial Coin Offerings are failing to hit their mark when it comes to alluring retail investment, and alternative avenues for institutional investors to enter the space are increasing significantly.

So what is pulling down the world of ICOs? A conflagration of disappointing progress, poor marketing and the continuing prevalence of scam projects which are cited in the report as crucial reasons for why ICOs continue to fall, along with seeing their returns continue to fall through 2018.

As if a night and day scenario, the same is definitely not true of crypto hedge funds which, on the other hand, have seen a continuously surprising level of growth, all in spite of a downturn in tandem with the underlying bearish crypto market.

More Than Half of ICOs Fail to hit Their Funding Target

Within the same research, Greyspark points out that more than half of ICOs that went on the market from 2017 and 2018 failed to meet their funding targets, with as many as 890 token sales raising no funds at all. And during the same period, more than 40% of ICOs, which equates to 743 firms, raised more than $1 million.

This data demonstrates that since the crypto mania of 2017 and its subsequent subsiding, investors have become far more astute in their observations of particular blockchain projects and their affiliated ICOs. Greyspark’s report discovered that in the second quarter of 2018, roughly 15% of ICO projects had an already working product, in contrast with only 6% of projects within the first quarter of the same year.

In spite of this lagging performance from ICOs, the report finds that general cryptocurrency development remains unabated, when measures by growth in google search queries, at least, which is still increasing from last autumn in spite of the initial value bubble, and by number of exchange sign ups, which demonstrate a similar upward momentum.

But while this market is maturing, the growth its experiencing is taking a whole other form. Retail investors that are otherwise swayed by specific ICOs and their marketing are being replaced by institutions, whose trading is predominantly conducted through Over the Counter (OTC) cryptocurrency trading desks, and a small (but growing) population of crypto hedge funds.

These are distinctly different avenues which are relied upon by institutional players in order to help them overcome the challenges they . would otherwise face when entering the market – including access to sufficient liquidity, privacy, security, and reduced risk from counterparties.

“Financial institutions have started to engage, although carefully, with their first cryptocurrency-related projects and the whole industry is evolving rapidly with the clear objective to attract the big money” according to the hedge fund manager and co-author of the report, Eitan Galam, who made the statement.

As of September this year, the number of crypto hedge funds has dramatically increased, and since  bouncing back from the crypto crash of January, the total amount of funds is steadily approaching 150, which is a profoundly different landscape when compared with the nine in existence back in 2012.

What on Earth is a crypto Hedge Fund?

In the conventional financial world, hedge funds use their sage wisdom and expertise in order to invest the money of institutions and wealthy individuals, luring them in with the prospect of earning significantly larger returns compared with those than would be offered by standard market index trackers, all by managing market ups and downs by taking long and / or short positions.

Much in the same way, cryptocurrency hedge funds offer active portfolio management for crypto assets, done by utilizing a range of different investment strategies to try and generate larger returns than would otherwise be possible through following the market movements of any particular cryptocurrency.

This is an approach that has proven itself truly attractive to institutional investors, a demographic which otherwise usually doesn’t have the desire to keep up with a market like cryptocurrencies, or the . means to store large amounts of cryptocurrency in a safe way.

Crypto Hedge Funds: Successful and Hold up to $5 Billion

While the institutional trading of cryptocurrencies remains relatively low compared to other kinds of asset classes, the report demonstrates that the number of crypto hedge funds has continued to increase at a dramatic pace over the last two years. This is a trend that’s expected to continue, reaching 160-180 by the end of 2018.

These . funds, which are usually operated by a team of less than five people, consist of a mixture of both defectors from the traditional world of finance, seeking escape from the . painfully low yields of bonds and equities, and famous advocates from within the crypto community.

As a collective area, these same funds are responsible for the management of $5 Billion worth of crypto assets. This is mostly done on the behalf of institutional investors, wealthy individuals and Venture Capital firms such as Sequoia Capital, and Andreessen Horowitz, all of whom have backed Naval Ravikant’s crypto hedge fund, MetaStable.

Crypto’s Entered the Passive Versus Active Debate

Over the last few years, managed money has under-performed passive strategies with the continued proliferation of ETFs, all of which have eroded the underlying profits of hedge funds, hitting at their market share as a result.

Traditionally speaking, hedge funds have charged notoriously high fees which are otherwise referred to as the “two and twenty” ratio, which is a flat 2% management fee and a 20% slice in profits should it reach a particular threshold.

So hypothetically,  if a fund which has $1 billion worth of Assets Under Management (AUM), it is guaranteed an annual $20 million whether it generates a profit or loss, and with their underperformance in this extended stock market bull run even wealthy individuals have switched to passive funds.

By stark contrast, the SPY ETF, which is regarded . as one of the worlds most liquid Exchange Traded Funds, that tracks in conjunction with the S&P 500, has an underlying management fee of 0.09%. Hedge fund managers have responded by cutting their fees to as low as 1:10 split.

So, what this investment avenue means for the crypto world isn’t an easy one to conclude on. But by operating as supersized individual investors, or ‘whales’ in the cryptocurrency world’s vernacular, these funds can add liquidity to the market, overall. This would potentially create a greater stability in price, and provide more confidence for an increasingly mainstream institutional investor to enter the space.

Please share this article:

Brazil's Antitrust Watchdog Probes Banks for Restricting Crypto Exchanges

Please share this article:
Advertisement

Brazil’s antitrust watchdog, the Administrative Council for Economic Defense (CADE), has recently launched an investigation into whether the country’s banks are purposefully harming cryptocurrency exchanges by restricting their operations.

According to Reuters, the investigation is set to find out whether the banks abused their position in the market to harm the crypto exchanges’ businesses in alleged monopolistic practices. Banks set to be investigated include Banco do Brasil, Banco Bradesco, Itau Unibanco, Banco Santander Brasil, and more.

The investigation was reportedly requested back in June by the Brazilian Association for Cryptocurrency and Blockchain (ABCB), after the bank accounts of Atlas Quantum were closed. As CCN covered, Atlas was hacked last month and saw the data of 264,000 users get leaked. The company itself is seen by some as a Ponzi scheme.

Per CADE, the country’s banks are “imposing restricting or even prohibiting… access to the financial system by cryptocurrency brokerages.” The investigation, Reuters reports, may lead to a new clash between the banks and crypto exchanges, after one in which a Brazilian cryptocurrency exchange, Walltime, won.

In reaching out to regulators, Brazil’s crypto exchanges are trying to stop the banks from shuttering their accounts without a proper explanation so they can keep on operating. They hope the antitrust regulator will force them to either keep their accounts or open new ones. CADE reportedly claimed there was no reason to decide immediately.

Fighting against the accusations, the banks claimed some crypto exchanges didn’t have the client data required by law to prevent money laundering. As such, they shuttered their accounts to avoid a potential backlash from the central bank.

Commenting on the case, CADE officials claimed that while illicit activities do need to be avoided, the banks’ conduct doesn’t seem reasonable.

“However, it does not seem reasonable for banks to apply such restrictive measures a priori on a straight-line basis to all cryptocurrency companies, without examining the level of compliance and the anti-fraud measures adopted by individual brokerage firms conferring unlawful treatment per se on businesses brokering cryptocurrencies.”

The regulator is now set to discuss the case with the country’s central bank before making a decision. In Brazil, regulators are on the defensive as crypto exchanges now have more accounts than stock exchanges, as the nascent industry is booming.

As CCN covered, the government has sent local cryptocurrency exchanges a questionnaire in an attempt to know more about their businesses and study their potential use in money laundering.

Huobi, one of the largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume, has entered the country. XP Investimentos, Brazil’s biggest investment firm, was reportedly working on launching a crypto exchange earlier this year, although it’s unclear if it still is.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

Follow us on Telegram or subscribe to our newsletter here.

Join CCN’s crypto community for $9.99 per month, click here.
Want exclusive analysis and crypto insights from Hacked.com? Click here.
Open Positions at CCN: Full Time and Part Time Journalists Wanted.

Advertisement



Please share this article:

Coinbase Refutes Claims in New York Attorney General's Exchange Report

Please share this article:

A recent report published by the New York Office of the Attorney General (OAG), which claimed several cryptocurrency exchanges it investigated are vulnerable to market manipulation, has drawn backlash from industry players.

In a blog post published Thursday, Coinbase’s chief policy officer, Mike Lempres, wrote that the OAG’s assertions in the report have led to misrepresentation of the exchange’s business in the media.

The OAG wrote in its original report: “Coinbase disclosed that almost 20 percent of executed volume on its platform was attributable to its own trading.”

In response, Lempres clarified that Coinbase does not “trade for the benefit of the company on a proprietary basis.”

He continued:

“When Coinbase executes these trades, it does so on behalf of Coinbase Consumer customers, not itself.”

Lempres further explained that the 20 percent figure represents consumer-driven volume on Coinbase Consumer, a service that executes users’ orders with its own exchange, as oppose to what was described as “self-trading” in the report.

Jesse Powell, the founder of the U.S.-based Kraken exchange, which was named by the OAG as possibly in violation of state law, vented his anger on Twitter, describing the environment in New York generally as “abusive.”

“NY is that abusive, controlling ex you broke up with 3 years ago but they keep stalking you, throwing shade on your new relationships, unable to accept that you have happily moved on and are better off without them. #getoverit,” he tweeted.

Echoing that, Shapeshift’s Erik Voorhees further tweeted:

“And those kinds of people never seem to realize their behavior is what led to the breakup… NY is going to lose its position at the head of global finance if it doesn’t change soon. Keep up the good work.”

Both Powell and Voorhees have been vocal in criticizing the high regulatory bars imposed by New York as stifling crypto growth in the global financial center.

Voorhees said in May at CoinDesk’s Consensus 2018 event in New York:

“Here we are two miles from the Statue of Liberty and you cannot sell CryptoKitties in the state without that license. That’s the absurdity of what’s happened here.”

Please share this article:

EtherMage Blockchain Trading Card Game Halts Support, to Issue Refunds after ICO Presale Interest

Please share this article:

EtherMage Project Stopped after Unsuccessful Presale

In July 2018, EtherMage was introduced: A Trading Card Game (TCG) that runs on the Ethereum Blockchain Network. It hoped to join the league of Cryptokitties but unfortunately did not. On 18th September, the team announced the discontinuation of the EtherMage project due to an unsuccessful presale that failed to reach its soft cap hence, inadequate funding to continue with the remaining development.

Although the project failed, the team has hopes that it will create and deliver better games and products to its followers in the future. Fortunately, supporters of the project will not be affected by the failure as EtherMage will be holding a refund period that is already ongoing until 17th October 2018. Individuals who purchased the presale cards with Ether can then reclaim their funds from the EtherMage website. However, refund requests will not be entertained after this period.

EtherMage was inspired by the ever-popular Magic: The Gathering and Hearthstone. Why exactly did it not boom and gain enough popularity to continue?  As observed on their Medium page, it did not have a large market as the number of claps, shares and comments on the team’s various posts are very minimal.

It only has about 60 followers on Twitter and this should have been a sign. With the large market in gaming, it leaves one to wonder why this particular game based on the third largest Blockchain network in the crypto market just wasn’t fit for survival.

As a TCG, a player was expected to buy cards, battle with them, collect them and even trade them with other players. Every card was stored as an ERC-721 token, similar to Cryptokitties ensuring that every card that one owns belongs to them and they could also be traded for money. You could earn while enjoying a thrilling game.

Failure of Blockchain projects

EtherMage’s failure is just one of many in the Blockchain world. Approximately 90% of all Blockchain startups fail having an average lifespan of just 15 months. A Chinese report from CAICT has revealed that over 80,000 blockchain projects have been launched worldwide since 2009 and only about 8% of those are still being maintained.

This year, 777 ICOs have been launched with almost $5 billion raised so far but $4.5 billion of that money was likely spent on projects doomed to fail before 2020.

EtherMage’s unsuccessful presale shows the uncertainty of the ICO and token sale funding model. One Redditor commented that this may be a sign that the days where anyone could announce an ICO and get millions of dollars thrown at them regardless of merit has passed. ICOs have been have been associated with scams and alternatives are already arising.

Please share this article:

Leading Bitcoin Cash Developer Says Future Fork Unlikely

Please share this article:

Cryptocurrency forks are likely to slow down considerably in the future, leaders of several major projects, all of which were formed by forks, said at CoinDesk’s Consensus Singapore event today.

On a panel session moderated by CoinDesk editor Pete Rizzo, Amaury Sechet, the lead developer behind Bitcoin ABC, the most widely used bitcoin cash software implementation, noted that the industry has already seen a slowdown in forks since 2017. Over 50 percent of nodes running the bitcoin cash software, created in 2017 from a fork of bitcoin, now run Bitcoin ABC to connect to the network.

Sechet argued that each time when a cryptocurrency fork happens, it leads to the loss of the network effect in the original blockchain, reducing the ability to create future value.

“You can only do that a certain amount of times,” he said, adding that a majority of future crypto forks will eventually become meaningless.

In this way, he put forth the argument that the value of the fork is derived from the strength of the disagreement that sparks the fork, leading a project down competing paths.

“I think there may be many, many forks in the future, but 99 percent of them will become worthless eventually,” he noted. “The bitcoin communities had many arguments before about forks, but not many people really give anything because every one just kept fighting with each other.”

Further, he said he believes it’s unlikely bitcoin cash will fork in the near future, arguing that participants in the project’s open-source community remain aligned on overall objectives, if not specifics.

“I think it’s unlikely bitcoin cash will fork into something else,” he said.

Jack Liao, CEO of the Hong Kong-based LighteningASIC mining equipment firm, who initiated the Bitcoin Gold fork last year, shared similar views and said communities’ internal conflicts appear to have been quiet compared to last year.

“If there’s no conflict, there’s no fork, because you need to get supporters,” Liao said.

CoinDesk reported last year that Liao initiated the idea of creating Bitcoin Gold, a crypto asset that was forked off the bitcoin network in an effort to replace bitcoin mining via ASIC miners with GPU chips.

It came just months after the bitcoin cash fork, championed by mining pools and bitcoin mining giant Bitmain as a way to boost the block size of the bitcoin blockchain network for handling more transactions.

James Wo, who heads the ETC Labs, which focuses on building ecosystem for ethereum classic, also weighed in saying that the fundamental value of cryptocurrency forks comes from the string of disagreements from the community, adding:

“The fork only happens when there’s really a huge diverge in a community.”

Ethereum Classic is the cryptocurrency the continues to run the original ethereum code, after the projects main developers forked the code in 2016.

Asked about how they see the competition between crypto forks and the original network, the panelists indicated the competition certainly exists to some degree, though they compete for different businesses and user segments.

Wo, for instance, said there’s competition between ethereum classic and ethereum “for sure,” but that they co-exist to suit different user demands, such as ETC for those who look for cheaper transaction fees while ETH for those who demand more diverse services.

Commenting on such competition, Liao said much of the attacks among the bitcoin communities also derive from their marketing and public relation strategies, referring to bitcoin cash’s self-branding as the true bitcoin.

Sechet said that it’s true to some extent that forks compete with each other but reinstated that the goal of what bitcoin and bitcoin cash are trying to reach do vary.

He concluded:

“The goal that the two project want to build is different and the target audience is not quite the same.”

Panel image via CoinDesk

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

Please share this article:

Bitcoin (BTC) Price Watch: Volatility Picking Up Leading to Bitcoin ETF SEC Ruling

Please share this article:

Bitcoin Price Key HighlightsBitcoin price tossed and turned around current support levels but is still on track to complete a double bottom pattern.Price is making its way closer to the neckline around the $6,600 level and a break higher could confirm an uptrend.Technical indicators are showing the presence of selling pressure, though.Bitcoin price underwent a pickup in volatility as traders are positioning ahead of the SEC decision on bitcoin ETF applications.Technical Indicators SignalsThe 100 SMA is crossing below the longer-term 200 SMA to signal that the path of least resistance is to the downside. In other words, the selloff is more likely to resume than to reverse. Price is also hovering around these dynamic inflection points, still deciding whether they’ll hold as dynamic resistance or not.A break past these inflection points and the neckline at $6,600 could confirm that an uptrend is underway. RSI looks ready to turn lower, though, so there may still be a return in selling pressure. Stochastic, on the other hand, has some room to climb before hitting overbought levels.BTCUSD Chart from TradingViewThe pickup in volatility over the past 24 hours is being pinned on short positions building up leading to the SEC decision on the bitcoin ETF applications from VanEck and SolidX. Many are watching these instruments closely as it would provide easier access for investors to trade bitcoin. More importantly, it could set a precedent for other securities based on digital assets.Recall that the regulator previously rejected a handful of proposals but almost immediately announced plans to review this decision. The review period hasn’t been specified, though, and many fear that the odds are dwindling as it takes longer. Meanwhile, the SEC also temporarily suspended trading on Bitcoin Tracker One and Ethereum Tracker one, citing confusion among customers on the nature of the underlying markets.

Please share this article:

ASIC stamps on more cryptocurrency scams as market dives

Please share this article:

The recent plunge in cryptocurrency values appears to have done little to put the brakes on scams targeting retail investors.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission has confirmed it recently shut down several “initial coin offerings” (ICOs) which were either illegal or using misleading statements in their marketing.

ASIC also recently stopped the issue of a product disclosure statement (PDS) for a crypto-asset managed investment scheme.

Since April, in five other separate matters, the regulator successfully acted to prevent ICOs raising capital without the appropriate investor protections.

“If you raise money from the public, you have important legal obligations. It is the legal substance of your offer — not what it is called —that matters,” ASIC commissioner John Price said.

“You should not simply assume that using an ICO structure allows you to ignore key protections there for the investing public, and you should always ensure disclosure about your offer is complete and accurate.”

The scams are not new and ASIC has identified a number of issues that keep showing up.

  • The use of misleading or deceptive statements in sales and marketing materials
  • Operating an illegal unregistered managed investment scheme (MIS)
  • Not holding an Australian financial services licence.

Last week, ASIC issued a final stop order on a PDS issued by Investors Exchange Limited for units in the New Dawn Fund.

The Fund was proposing to invest in a range of cryptocurrency assets. It has now agreed to pull its offer.

Little protection

ASIC has previously warned that while ICOs may sound similar to initial public offerings (IPOs) on the stock market, they are very different and lack the same level of pre-release scrutiny.

“Usually they don’t offer any legal rights and protections, or claims to any underlying assets. Offers of shares in an IPO do offer legal rights and protections,” ASIC said.

“ICOs use the internet to raise money, but they are not the same as crowd-sourced funding which is regulated under Australian law and offers basic investor protections.”

The ASIC paper described ICOs as speculative, high-risk investments and largely experimental.

“As a result, some projects may take years before they become commercially viable, if at all. A large number of ICOs fail or do not increase in value,” it said.

Cryptocurrencies’ wild ride

Even the most established of the cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin, has been a challenge for investors.

In the past 12 months it has surged from around $US5,000 ($6,888) to almost $27,557 only to crash back down again.

Yesterday, Bitcoin experienced a flash-crash and a wild 10 per cent peak-to-trough swing in value.

It has become a play thing of short-sellers ahead of a decision on the future of a proposed Bitcoin-backed electronically traded fund (ETF).

The US Security and Exchange Commission is due to make a decision on whether to grant approval for the ETF this month, having previously knocked back similar proposals due to the cryptocurrencies’ volatility and the potential for price manipulation.

Please share this article:

Messaging Giant LINE Unveils Ambitious Plan for Crypto Token Ecosystem

Please share this article:

LINE, the messaging app giant from Japan, has unveiled plans that will see it launch an ambitious, token-powered ecosystem by the end of 2018.

Aimed at capitalizing on the company’s big user base – LINE claims to have more than 160 million monthly active users – the plan is centered around its previously announced LINK token. Supported by a $10 million venture fund and a newly-launched cryptocurrency exchange, LINE has already said that its initiative will focus heavily on the development of decentralized apps, or dApps, that are tied to the LINK blockchain.

The plan, as a whole, represents one of the more notable enterprise-level efforts of 2018 to apply blockchain to mainstream use cases. LINE is hoping that its LINK token will serve as the fuel for a wide range of consumer-facing applications, from payments for restaurants and other services to the serving of online content.

In a presentation given during CoinDesk’s Consensus: Singapore event on September 20, LINE said that its goal is to make token and accompanying applications as easy to use as possible in a bid to migrate some of those millions of users to its nascent crypto-economy.

The idea is that, rather than distributing LINK tokens through some kind of sale, users will be rewarded through the use of dApps. Developers, in turn, can use the company’s blockchain-as-a-service to develop applications of their own.

LINE’s scaling solution

Perhaps more ambitious is LINE’s plan for supporting the scalability of its platform.

Dubbed the LINEAR NETWORK, the plan would see dApps existing on their own so-called “leafchains” that exist on their own but are capable of interacting with other offshoots. LINEAR will be underpinned by the LINK token, which can be exchanged from chain to chain by way of smart contracts.

LINE expects to go live with its framework for the LINK token as well as the LINEAR NETWORK in December, according to the company’s presentation.

And as reported previously, LINE is already moving to shore up its developer resources ahead of that kick-off – signaling that it will seek to have a number of dApps in place prior to launch.

Image via Shutterstock

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

Please share this article:

Cryptocurrency thefts triple; 60 billion yen stolen in 1st 6 months

Please share this article:

Cyber thefts in Japan are making their presence felt in a big way as police reported that hackers in the first six months of this year made off with the equivalent of 60.503 billion yen ($540 million) in cryptocurrency.

The most stunning case, in January, siphoned 58 billion yen from a cryptocurrency exchange.

The National Police Agency said Sept. 20 that the number of reported incidents came to 158, triple the figure for the same period in 2017.

Total seizures far exceeded that for all of last year, when about 662.4 million yen was stolen over the Internet in 149 cases.

Cryptocurrency exchange operator Coincheck Inc. was hacked in January, and the equivalent of 58 billion yen was stolen.

The remaining 2.5 billion yen did not involve exchanges, but mainly illegal accessing of individual cryptocurrency accounts.

More than 60 percent of all cases, or 102 incidents, involved individuals who used the same ID and password for their e-mail account and other Internet services, such as online shopping, for cryptocurrency dealings.

The Coincheck theft triggered greater consumer awareness as the number of incidents decreased dramatically in the months following the incident.

Between January and March, 120 Internet thefts were reported, or about 76 percent of the total.

The Financial Services Agency intensified its efforts to discipline exchange operators in the aftermath of the Coincheck hacking.

The NPA also ramped up its efforts to strengthen confirmation of user IDs.

That led to a decrease in Internet theft reports between April and June to 38 cases.

The most targeted cryptocurrencies were Bitcoin, where the equivalent of 860 million yen was seized in 94 cases, and Ripple, which involved 1.52 billion yen in 42 cases. Losses in NEM cryptocurrency, which was at the center of the Coincheck case, as well as other cryptocurrencies, totaled 58.062 billion yen in 36 cases.

There were 14 cases of Ethereum cryptocurrency theft, with losses of about 61 million yen.

NPA officials said an around-the-clock computer detection system they operate recorded an increase in hacking attempts at cryptocurrency networks from about August 2017.

Please share this article: