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Morning News: More Coincheck Fallout; Are S Korean Exchanges Next?

Tim Alper
Last updated: | 3 min read

Japanese Promise Tighter Self-regulation Experts: “South Korean Exchanges Woefully Exposed to Hacking Risks” Coincheck Pulls Plug on Popular Advertising Campaign IBL: Vietnamese Government “Very Excited” about Blockchain

Catch up on the most essential cryptocurrency and blockchain news stories breaking in Asia and the Americas while the rest of the world was asleep.

Japanese Industry Groups Promise Tighter Self-regulation as Experts Warn of Gov’t Regulations
Leading lights of the Japanese cryptocurrency and blockchain scene have declared their intention to work together to prevent further hacks, following a massive 526 million XEM hack on exchange platform Coincheck last week. The Japan Blockchain Association (JBA), Shinsei Bank-backed Tech Bureau and others vowed to take steps to avoid a repeat of last Friday’s Coincheck hack by taking a series of stringent self-regulatory steps.

The JBA was established in 2016 as a support network for cryptocurrency and blockchain businesses in Japan. It stated, “As an association, we are requesting that exchanges now check the status of their security systems with the possibility of cyberattacks still high. We are planning to establish more stringent self-regulatory measures in the near future.”

Meanwhile, the Japan Times reports that the country’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) has said it is “looking into the Coincheck incident.” The outlet also reports that, per the president of the Asia Fintech Society, “Regardless of how it plays out, the Coincheck theft is likely to push policymakers to enforce stricter security requirements at cryptocurrency exchanges.”

In other news, the company has also announced plans to refund the 260,000 users affected by the hack, whereas the NEM foundation claims it knows “where the [hacked] funds were sent.”

Experts: “South Korean Exchanges Woefully Exposed to Hacking Risks”
Chosun Ilbo reports that South Korea’s cryptocurrency exchanges could be next in line for a major, Coincheck-scale hack if they do not take immediate steps to bolster security.
The media outlet points out that Korea Communications Standards Commission last year conducted a security checks on exchanges, and found no systems in place to prevent the hacking of personal data, a general lack of data backups and a widespread trend of storing customer information on servers connected to the Internet. Chosun also quotes an anonymous industry expert as saying, “Establishing a system of separate servers is the most basic principle there is when it comes to protecting customers’ personal information. South Korean cryptocurrency investors have basically put their money in an unlocked safe.”

Coincheck Pulls Plug on Popular Advertising Campaign
In further Coincheck news, the platform has removed dozens of advertising images and videos featuring popular comedian Tetsurō Degawa in the wake of last week’s huge hack. The Degawa ads began running in early December and had enjoyed enormous success, with Coincheck experiencing a tenfold rise in the amount of new accounts opened following the campaign’s launch. A television commercial featuring Degawa playing two crypto-curious brothers has won public acclaim, but Coincheck has now decided to stop airing it with immediate effect.

IBL: Vietnamese Government “Very Excited” about Blockchain Technology
A Vietnamese blockchain expert claim that the country’s government is “very excited” about the idea of applying the technology to public regulation initiatives. Nicole Nguyen of Infinity Blockchain Labs’ Ho Chi Minh City branch was quoted in the South China Morning Post as saying, “In Vietnam, health care records are a key area that blockchain could disrupt in public services.” Nguyen also opined that the news of falling cryptocurrency prices could “make more people intrigued by the [blockchain] ecosystem itself and deploy the technology for other applications.”