Japan penalizes several cryptocurrency exchanges after hack

TOKYO — The Japanese government is slapping penalties on several crypotocurrency exchanges in the country, after 58 billion yen ($530 million) of virtual coins were lost earlier this year from hacking.

The Financial Services Agency, which has been checking the exchanges, said Thursday that FSHO and Bit Station exchanges were ordered to halt operations for a month.

It said FSHO was not properly monitoring trades and had not carried out employee training. The agency said it found that a Bit Station employee had taken bitcoins for personal use.

Five other exchanges, including Coincheck, targeted in the massive hacking, were ordered to improve their operations.

Coincheck had received a similar order earlier.

Japan is unusual in the world for embracing cryptocurrencies and setting up a licensing system to oversee their use.

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