Tech Bureau, the original operator of Zaif, a cryptocurrency exchange has decided to shut down its business, once it completes the refund for all customers. This operation marks the first case of a virtual currency exchange registrar returning from registration and closing its business.
Tech bureau operated Zaif, till November 2018. However, as per new reports, the business will be handed over to FISCO. The latter is accepting refunds from the 2nd of September to the 30th of November for customers who have not transferred their accounts to FISCO.
Zaif’s Twitter account which saw no activity since July 16, recently tweeted,[translated from Japanese],
“[Regarding some reports on Tech Bureau, Inc.] An announcement regarding the closure of Tech Bureau, Inc. has been reported, but Zaif is currently operated by FISCO Virtual Currency Exchange, and this exchange will not be closed. . In addition, customers who have agreed to the business succession procedure with the Company do not need any refund procedures.”
The latter was previously slapped with two business improvement orders by the Japanese regulators in 2018, owing to Zaif exchange being hacked and losing crypto assets worth $60 Million on Sep 14, 2018.
In the theft, virtual currencies worth about ¥6.7 billion, including Bitcoin, Monacoin and Bitcoin Cash, were stolen from the exchange’s “hot wallet”. Furthermore, About ¥2.2 billion worth of the stolen currency were Zaif’s crypto assets, while the remaining ¥4.5 billion belonged to customers.
Following the hack, Tech Bureau agreed with JASDAQ-listed Fisco Ltd to receive a ¥5 billion (US$44.59 million) investment in exchange for majority ownership. Subsequently, the proceeds of the investment were to be used for returning stolen consumer funds.
While Japanese regulators are keen on implementing strict measures and helping the exchanges put stronger consumer protection measures in place, it seems that some stronger regulations are needed to curb this menace.
The refund application procedure as per Tech Bureau can be found here.