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Japan crypto exchange loses $32 million of virtual money

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TOKYO (AP) — A Japanese cryptocurrency exchange has reported a hack causing the loss of 3.5 billion yen, or $32 million, worth of virtual money.

Tokyo-based Remixpoint, which runs the BITPoint exchange as well as travel, used car and energy businesses, apologized Friday, saying the losses were confirmed starting Thursday.

The reason for the losses, which include bitcoins as well as Ethereum, Ripple and other kinds of cryptocurrencies, is under investigation.

About two-thirds of the losses affected customers while the rest of the missing assets belonged to Remixpoint, the company said in a statement. All transactions have been halted.

Japan has been relatively open to cryptocurrencies, which use a technology called blockchain, despite some high-profile heists.

It has set up a licensing system to oversee their use. Bitcoin has been a legal form of payment in Japan since April 2017.

Remixpoint said the lost money was in what is called the “hot wallet.” Money in the “cold wallet,” which has tighter security, was safe.

The investigation’s findings will be disclosed as soon as possible, the company said.

Major cryptocurrency exchange Mt. Gox was hacked and collapsed in Japan in 2014.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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