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January 30, 2018

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Pop band prefers cryptocurrency wage

MEMBERS of a Japanese girl pop group, the Virtual Currency Girls, said yesterday they had refused an offer to be paid in yen and would stay loyal to cryptocurrencies despite a US$530 million cyber heist jeopardizing their chances of getting paid.

A cryptocurrency account that pays part of the band’s salary was among those frozen as a result of the suspension of trading at Tokyo-based Coincheck exchange on Friday following the theft of NEM, one of the world’s most popular digital currencies.

“Our manager offered to pay us in yen, but we declined,” said Hinano Shirahama, who is the band’s bitcoin character.

Dressed in maid costumes and wearing wrestling masks adorned with fuzzy pom-pom ears and cryptocurrency symbols the eight Virtual Currency Girls are a pop music manifestation of the digital currency frenzy that has swept Japan and other parts of the world.

Shirahama and other group members said they would stay together regardless of the setback. Formed by an entertainment promoter the band debuted this month and have yet to garner a significant following.

Regulators fear the rampant speculation in cryptocurrencies and risk that the markets could be used for funding criminal and terrorist groups.

Japan’s FSA on Friday said it would begin inspections at other exchanges.


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