Cryptopia, a New Zealand-based cryptocurrency exchange, has not had the best start to 2019. As per the hack it experienced last month, which resulted in a multi-million dollar token heist, New Zealand police initiated an investigation of their to own ascertain whether or not the platform could have prevented the hack, or worse, was someway involved.
However, it has now been reported that New Zealand Police have given Cryptopia the all clear to resume trading activities. Whilst New Zealand Police have also indicated that they are still engaged in the final stages of their investigation, this should indicate at the very least that Cryptopia themselves were not involved in any internal malpractice.
It is important to note that whilst New Zealand authorities have given the green light for Cryptopia to re-open, it remains to be seen when or if the platform will decide to proceed.
High Tech Crime Group Confirm That Nothing is Stopping Cryptopia From Re-Opening
Whilst it was New Zealand Police that initially took on the case, this was eventually passed on to the High Tech Crime Group. According to Detective Inspector Greg Murton, who spoke with the New Zealand Herald, the investigatory unit have “Finished the main part of the work required by the High Tech Crime Group at Cryptopia’s business premises, although HTCG staff remain there finishing up aspects of their work”. Murton continued to clarify that the final stages of the investigation are not preventing the exchange from re-opening their doors to the public.
Interestingly, when Murton was asked whether or not the team responsible for running the exchange were likely to have criminal charges put against them, the detective refused to comment.
For those looking for clarity on the specific amount stolen, as well as the underlying mechanism that allowed the hackers to succeed in their criminal endeavors, this still remains unclear.
At the time of writing, the general consensus within the industry is that the amount stolen amounted to $16 million worth of cryptocurrency tokens, or $25 million New Zealand Dollars. This figure was initially brought forward by a blockchain analysis firm called Elementus.
Through the use of an Ethereum blockchain analysis tool used by the research firm, Elementus believe that $16 million worth of Ethereum and other ERC-20 tokens were stolen. However, as the analysis engine only covers tokens that run on the Ethereum blockchain, the researchers at Elementus argue that the total amount may in fact be higher.
Total Figure of Stolen Funds Still not Clarified
Whilst Cryptopia director Pete Dawson would not confirm the exact amount that was stolen from their internal servers, he did state that the figures being reported by the media were misinterpreted. Moreover, Cryptopia founders Rob Dawson and Adam Clarke have also failed to notify the public of the exact amount that was stolen, which, taking in to account that the hack happened just over a month ago, is somewhat surprising. We are also yet to ascertain what policy the team at Cryptopia are going to implement with respect to lost customer funds, if any at all.
Whilst it remains to be seen whether or not the exchange will decide to re-open its doors now that it has the green light from New Zealand authorities, it also remains unclear as to what affect this will have on Cryptopia’s customer base. Although various exchanges that have previously been accustomed to an external hack and since recovered, research suggests that this has been in direct response to a customer re-payment plan for those that have had funds stolen.