Authorities in Japan have arrested two men in Tokyo for allegedly buying cryptocurrency linked to what is considered the biggest security breach in the cryptocurrency space.
According to the Jiji Press, the men were held by the Metropolitan Police Department for allegedly buying NEM tokens from the Coincheck hack, where hackers – believed to be from North Korean group Lazarus – stolen over $500 million worth of the cryptocurrency from its wallets.
Both men, a doctor from Hokkaido and a company executive from Osaka, reportedly knew the cryptocurrency was stolen, but acquired it anyway. Tokyo police believe the individuals have been exchanging their NEM for other tokens since February.
The arrests are the first associated with the Coincheck hack that occurred in 2018. It’s believed to be the biggest one in cryptocurrency history, as even the Mt. Gox hack saw hackers steal around $340 million worth of BTC at the time.
After suffering the security breach, Coincheck was acquired by online brokerage Monex Group for “several billion yen.” After the acquisition, Coincheck was approved for an operating license after making several improvements to its systems. Its influence seemed to have grown once again, as once it listed little-known cryptocurrency Monacoin it surged 140%.
It’s worth noting that after the $500 million hack, Japan’s Virtual Currency Exchange Association (JVCEA), an official self-regulatory body of cryptocurrency exchanges, was launched to help improve businesses in the space.