In brief

  • Funds originating from the 2018 Coincheck hack have been marked for seizure by Tokyo’s District Court.
  • The stolen crypto amounts to approximately 4.8 million yen ($45,000) in both XEM and Bitcoin.
  • A doctor from Obihiro City, Hokkaido, stands accused of fencing the funds.

In 2018, Tokyo-based crypto exchange Coincheck was ransacked for over $500 million in the peer-to-peer cryptocurrency, NEM (XEM). More than two years on, a portion of the misappropriated funds are to be seized by the Tokyo District Court.

Per reports from the Japan Times Wednesday, the court issued a protective order for future seizure from one Takayoshi Doi, a doctor from Obihiro City, Hokkaido. While Doi isn't accused of running the 2018 hack of Coincheck, he was arraigned by officials in March for allegedly purchasing XEM originating from the heist. 

Now, a share of the supposedly ill-gotten funds purportedly held by Doi—which according to a local news outlet, Kyodo, amount to roughly 4.8 million yen ($45,000) in both XEM and Bitcoin—are marked to be confiscated in what will be Japan's first crypto seizure. Doi is expected to keep the funds safe until an official verdict is handed down. 

The anticipated expropriation is a mere fraction of the 58 billion yen ($550 million) of XEM originally stolen.

In January 2018, hackers raided Coincheck, looting a total of 523 million NEM, worth around $530 million at the time. Since the heist—which is recorded as one of the biggest crypto hacks of all time—the value of the NEM token has plunged 93%. The stolen tokens are now estimated to be worth approximately $39 million.

Coincheck was once again the victim of an attack in May this year. This time around, hackers gained access to Coincheck's email domain, soliciting customers' for personal information, including birth dates, phone numbers, and ID verification photos, names, and addresses. While no crypto was stolen, the reputational damages ushered by a second exploit were likely just as costly.