For no apparent reason NEM has given up the chase for these coins. In all fairness I don’t think it was ever their issue, the stolen coins were the fault of the Coincheck Exchange’s security and not due to any flaw in the NEM client or network side. Of course naturally they were interested but one bold prediction is that “hackers would not be able to launder the coins due to lack of liquidity”. I am not sure if the NEM developers really believed that or if they thought heat on the exchanges would dissuade or slow the thieves down. I suspect they exchanged the NEM for other coins and then sold them back again clean through multiple exchanges.
I would say this isn’t bad for cryptocurrency because bank heists occur each day and nothing stops one from spending or exchanging the money in real life. It’s really no different than the initial fears of “e-commerce sites were hacked” just as real life stores have theft and holdups everyday. It is just a matter of mitigation whether physical or virtual.
But with that aside NEM clearly said they were ending the chase and wouldn’t say much more due to the “sensitivity of the investigation”. This is something I find a little strange, is it that they did find something but the authorities have forbidden them from disclosing it?
Was this an inside job on the part of Coincheck in Japan or was it something else explosive that they found? Could it have been a rival currency, bankers or government behind the hack? Anything is possible and speculation will rightfully run abound until more details emerge.