Bitcoin prices tumble; Japan cracks down on Coincheck after hack

Bitcoin prices slipped on Monday, as the market weighed up news of a fresh crackdown on a cryptocurrency exchange in Japan after the biggest theft of digital assets since 2014.

Spot bitcoin prices

BTCUSD, -4.43%

 fell 4% to $11,215.74, and ether coins on the Ethereum blockchain fell 4.8% to $1,188.60, according to prices on research and data site CoinDesk.

Tokyo-based exchange Coincheck last week reported 523 million units of virtual-currency tokens on the NEK blockchain — a value of about $530 million — had been stolen. On Monday, Japanese authorities ordered the exchange to beef up security and come up with measures to prevent future incidents, according to reports in The Wall Street Journal and other media.

Read:Is Robinhood going to challenge Coinbase for dominance in bitcoin and Ethereum trading?

On Sunday, Coincheck said it would use its own funds to pay back customers who were hacked — 523 million units of virtual-currency tokens on the NEK blockchain were stolen — to the tune of 46.3 billion yen ($426 million).

The hack was revealed by the exchange on Friday, and marks the single biggest crypto breach in the nine-year existence of bitcoin, morphing the $450 million bitcoin lost in the Mt. Gox breach of 2014.

Bitcoin trading on Cboe Global Markets Inc. for February

XBTG8, -0.44%

 rose 2% to $11,180, while February futures on the CME

BTCG8, +2.42%

 gained 1.8% to $11,180.

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