On Monday, April 16th the Tokyo-based digital currency exchange Coincheck was successfully acquired by Monex, Japan’s 3rd ranking online brokerage firm in terms of customer accounts. As per reports, both parties agreed to a deal for the sum of 3.6 billion yen ($33.6 million). Coincheck began losing its credibility following the exchange’s $530 million hacks at the end of January 2018, it would be quite interesting to see how would Monex run this exchange.
In an interview with Reuters, Oki Matsumoto, CEO of Monex Group Inc, pointed out that, as Japan’s exchanges perform the dual tasks of matching and custodial services, adding that these exchanges bear resemblance to the functions of a bank.
As per Matsumoto’s statement, he said, “To somebody in the financial sector like me, it’s no mystery that regulations will get even more strict.”
Following the acquisition of Coincheck, Monex can now introduce itself into the cryptocurrency sector, this move has made quite the headlines as it is not very often that a major financial company purchases a crypto exchange.
It has been reported that the COO of Monex, Toshihiko Katsuya, would be entrusted with the post of the President of the revamped Coincheck.
Initially, not long ago, Japan was home to 32 digital currency exchanges, 16 of which have been given the nod by the country’s financial watchdog, the Financial Services Agency (FSA).The 16 remaining exchanges have also received approval, however, their applications are being rechecked, the FSA has taken this firm approach following the recent hack of Coincheck in which millions were stolen. Hence, as result of this stricter regulatory policies, several cryptocurrency exchanges have closed down all operations.
As reported by Reuters, it states that the rules were introduced back in 2017 to see to it that customer and company assets could be differentiated, however it looks like the practice has not been properly explained. Then with Monex, the division of assets is strictly implemented and with clients’ stocks and assets kept with a third party, for instance in trust banks.
Earlier in March 2018, Yahoo Japan made an entry into the digital currency industry when it purchased a 40 percent stake in the BitARG Exchange in Tokyo, a platform on which users can perform Bitcoin transactions. The company also revealed its ambitions of launching its own cryptocurrency exchange somewhere in the future. Although exact dates were not given by the company, it was just mentioned that the exchange would be based on BitARG’s system.