TOKYO – Hackers who stole $523 million worth of the NEM cryptocurrency from Japanese virtual currency exchange Coincheck used a small part of it to buy initial coin offering (ICO) of a Philippine company, Japan’s Nikkei newspaper reported on Saturday.
Philippine blockchain technology company Appsolutely received on Thursday 2,000 NEM coins in its ICO, a payment which came from one of the eight accounts to where the stolen coins were dispersed, a spokesperson of NEM.io Foundation, which is tracking the movement of the stolen cryptocurrency, told Nikkei.
Another 1,100 stolen NEMs were sent Friday to a cryptocurrency exchange house in the Czech Republic, and an unspecified amount have been sent to exchanges in the United States and New Zealand.
It is not yet known if the digital account holders who sent the stolen cryptocurrency have benefitted from the transactions.
The NEM.io Foundation, meanwhile, urged crypto exchanges across the world to refuse service when illegally obtained NEM is deposited.
If the stolen coins continue to spread across more accounts, some of them may be converted into other cryptocurrencies or even cash, the Foundation warned.
The cyberattack against crypto exchange operator Coincheck last Friday has been the largest one in the sector so far, with the theft of almost over 58 billion yen ($527 million) worth of coins.