A cybersecurity expert believes that hackers may have converted half of the NEM cryptocurrency stolen from Tokyo-based bourse operator Coincheck Inc. into other virtual coins for laundering.
The primary intent behind converting these coins into other virtual currencies was to make it even more difficult to track the stolen coins. Hackers made these exchanges through the highly controversial dark web. The total loot was estimated to be around 58 billion yen ($547 million).
The conversion began on February 7, 2018, via a website on the dark web, exclusively set up for the purpose of trading virtual coins.
According to reports, transactions are still being made on the website. This continuity implies that more of the stolen NEM will be laundered and in turn, become impossible to trace if successful.
The stolen NEM is being tracked by the NEM Foundation, a Singapore-based organization that has also been promoting the virtual currency.
The organization is marking accounts being used for illicit transfers.
To make things easy for them, they have warned virtual currency exchanges around the world to stop the procession of NEM payments from the marked accounts.
Japan Digital Design Inc. Chief Technology Officer Masanori Kusunoki, who is acquainted with cryptocurrency, said, “It has become evident we cannot block currency laundering just because all transactions are recorded. Exchange operators need to make prior agreements on the handling of stolen virtual coins.”
Such instances make us question the safety of digital currency and force us to think, is our money safe? Cryptocurrency is the talk of the hour and incidents related to this alternate currency continues to make the rounds on the regular.