Japan’s Coincheck to start repaying customers Monday after digital money heist

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TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck Inc, reeling from government reprimands over lax standards after $530 million dollar theft of digital money, said it would from Monday start repaying customers affected by the heist.

FILE PHOTO: Cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck’s signboard is pictured in front of a building where their office is located in Tokyo, Japan February 2, 2018. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon/File Photo

Coincheck also plans to lift curbs from Monday on the trading and withdrawal of some cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin, that it had imposed as it investigated the late-January heist.

Coincheck said last week it would repay about 46 billion yen ($431.6 million)to investors who lost digital money in the hack, one of the biggest of digital money ever.

The incident sparked renewed concern in Japan and abroad over security at cryptocurrency exchanges, and raised questions over the country’s system of regulating exchanges.

In its widest regulatory response yet, Japan’s financial regulator last week punished Coincheck and six other exchanges, ordering them to make improvements in areas from risk management to preventing the criminal use of digital money.

The Financial Services Agency said Coincheck lacked proper systems for dealing money laundering and terrorism financing, and in the second such punishment since the hack ordered it to submit a report on how it would improve by until March 22.

Reporting by Thomas Wilson; Editing by Kim Coghill