Several countries investigating Japanese virtual coin heist: cryptocurrency council member

A man takes a picture of a decoration implying the symbol of NEM coin which is hung on a wall at 'nem bar', where customers can pay with NEM coins, in Tokyo, Japan January 29, 2018. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

TOKYO (Reuters) - Authorities in several countries are investigating last week’s $530 million heist involving the NEM cryptocurrency, a member of the foundation behind the digital coin said on Thursday.

Takao Asayama, who is a member of the Singapore-based NEM Foundation that is behind the cryptocurrency, told reporters in Tokyo that it is working with exchanges to block the hackers from cashing out the stolen cryptocurrency. He did not name the countries involved in investigations.

Earlier this week, Japanese authorities said they would investigate all cryptocurrency exchanges in the country for security gaps and ordered Tokyo-based Coincheck to raise its standards after hackers stole $530 million of digital money from the exchange.

He said the foundation confirmed the transfer of some of the stolen coins to two exchanges, adding that it appeared the purpose of the transactions was to test the tracking system rather than moving the coins.

Reporting by Takahiko Wada; Writing by Taiga Uranaka; Editing by Malcolm Foster and Sam Holmes