The cryptocurrency market has also been the target of numerous controversies, either in the form of hacks or with comments made by the industry’s famous supporters. Authorities were able to track down the perpetrators of the biggest cryptocurrency heist in history in the new twist.
On March 11, police officials of Tokyo revealed that they had arrested two men in connection with the hack of Coincheck, once a popular Japanese cryptocurrency exchange.
Sources within the police force claimed that the two men were being questioned thoroughly with the intention of tracking down the stolen assets. In January 2018, the accused had stolen nearly $400 million in NEM tokens which caused Coincheck to go under. The case carries the notorious title of being the biggest theft of crypto-currency since the field was launched.
The detained individuals were Masami Kitamoto, and Dr. Doi Takayoshi, according to local news media in Japan. Tokyo Police added that they had long been on the trail of the culprits and needed to collect sufficiently concrete evidence before they swooped in. The two men were caught on the radar when they tried to exchange the stolen NEM for Bitcoin. The red flags raised by the exchange of such a large quantity of cryptocurrency was the turning point for the arrest.
The arrest was made under the terms of the Act of Punishment of Organized Crimes and Control of Crime Proceeds. Investigations were focused on the dark web because a majority of the cryptocurrency crimes occurred there. The clutch came when officials spotted a large chunk of NEM being sold at a 15 percent discount. This whale movement was the downfall of both Kitamoto and Takayoshi.
This was the first time that the Tokyo police took such an initiative for a crime related to digital assets. The department task force for the incident was close to 100 and higher-ups have stated that there will be more involved in such cases arise in the future.
The news about the arrests was a silver lining in the dark cloud shrouding the cryptocurrency market. At the time of writing, the entire market was bleeding red with no signs of stopping.
Tokyo Police were behind the hackers for months and had intensified the search last December. That was the reason for the identification of a house in Tokyo as a possible safe house.
Even after the arrests of the NEM thieves, the cryptocurrency failed to climb on the charts. NEM was trading for $0.04 with a total market cap of $362.498 million.
The 10.3 percent drop on the daily spectrum also resulted in the 24-hour market volume to fall to $24.201 million. NEM was not alone in this double-digit fall as it was also joined by bigwigs like Bitcoin, Ethereum and XRP.