A visual illustration of bitcoin.
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  • Liquid, a Japanese crypto exchange, said on Twitter that it had been hacked.
  • As much as R1 billion in crypto assets were stolen, a report said.
  • This is the latest in a string of crypto hacks and crimes, which have become more and more common.
  • For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

Hackers have raided the Japanese crypto exchange Liquid, the company tweeted early on Thursday. The stolen assets could be worth as much as R1 billion, The Block reported.

"Important Notice: We are sorry to announce that #LiquidGlobal warm wallets were compromised, we are moving assets into the cold wallet. We are currently investigating and will provide regular updates. In the meantime deposits and withdrawals will be suspended," Liquid tweeted.

Liquid confirmed that bitcoin, ether, XRP, and TRX coins were stolen in the hack. The exchange said it was tracing the movement of the assets and working with other exchanges to freeze the stolen funds and recover them. Liquid said the hackers managed to transfer some of the ill-gotten coins into second and third accounts.

Johnny Lyu, the CEO of crypto exchange KuCoin, confirmed it was aware of the hack and KuCoin had frozen the addresses of the hacker.

The Block reported that the hacker had seized assets worth as much as R1 billion, after initiating transactions worth around R1.1 billion at the time of the hack.

At the time of writing, the hacker's ethereum address had funds worth almost $44.8 million (R600 million) allocated to it, while their bitcoin address contained tokens worth approximately $4.8 million (R71 million).

This is the latest in a series of crypto hacks and other crypto-related crimes that have become more and more common in recent months. Between January and the end of July, crypto assets worth $681 million (around R10 billion) were involved in thefts, hacks, and fraud, according to intelligence firm CipherTrace.

That figure has almost doubled in the past week alone, as DeFi platform Poly Network was hacked and funds worth over $600 million (around R9 billion) were stolen in what has been called one of the biggest crypto heists ever. Although the hacker has since returned a portion of the assets, the major hack drew renewed attention to weaknesses in crypto systems and crypto-related theft.

Crypto crimes and illicit activities linked to crypto are one of the key concerns raised by regulators, financial institutions, and governments regarding the wider adoption of cryptocurrencies.

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