Last month, Coincheck lost about $550 million worth of NEM to hackers. In retaliation, the FSA shut them down. Coincheck has refunded some money to defrauded investors and has opened back up for trade. Now, there are three conspicuously absent coin choices available.
Private Coins Pose too Many Problems
Monero, Zcash, and Dash are notorious for being private, untraceable, anonymous cryptocurrencies. The anonymity that attracts people to them is the self-same reason that traders will no longer see them as options on the Coincheck exchange.
According to the Japan Times, Coincheck realized, in the wake of losing $550 million, these currencies pose too much risk to the exchange, and to consumers. These coins also have been used by money launderers and black market feeders.
These currencies are unlike Bitcoin: tracing recipients and senders of funds is nearly impossible. This poses a big problem for exchanges looking to appease regulators and protect their customers. Coincheck is considering purchasing the coins from traders on the exchange at a fixed rate.
If you are a bona fide legal trader and have verified your identity with Coincheck, you are eligible for them to potentially offer to purchase the untradable coins from you. The move would be a peace offering to clients that currently hold assets in those three currencies.
The FSA has required exchanges stop working with anonymous customers, and register their users with proof of identity. Coincheck applied for registration with the FSA in September of last year, but the hack and subsequent new guidelines delayed the registration. After the hack in January, the FSA suspended trade on Coincheck and launched an investigation into their practices.
Apparently, the exchange largely passed muster, as they were cleared for trading, and reopened mid February. As of Monday March 19th the exchange does not list Monero, Zcash, or Dash as available options.
Conversions and Losses
According to a cyber security expert, the $550 million worth of NEM is in process of being converted into other cryptos and fiats since February 7th. About half of the funds have already been laundered, and the remaining coins are becoming more and more difficult to trace. Masanori Kusunoki of Japan Digital Design says that launderers are likely converting assets through a darknet website.
Kusunoki says that monitoring these coins has shown him that the mere act of recording each transaction is not enough to stop money laundering, as the trail becomes more convoluted with each transaction. He says tracking the NEM is becoming impossible.
Coincheck has already refunded 260,000 consumers to the tune of $440 million. Even with the reparations, trust in the exchange will be hard to mend. As soon as the exchange reopened, though, 40 billion yen were cashed out. Two weeks later, a 2,228 million yen lawsuit was filed against the exchange by 132 individuals.