Japan’s Monex Mulls Buying Coincheck Crypto Exchange

Monex likely to pay “several billion yen” for the exchange that was hacked earlier this year.

by Siana
03 April • 2 min
In Markets

Japanese financial services company Monex Group said on Tuesday it has been considering the purchase of domestic cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck, which is still troubled following a major hack attack at the end of January.

In a statement, published on its website following a report by local media Nikkei regarding its potential entry into the crypto business, Monex confirmed its deliberations, but stressed it has not made any decision yet.

Monex has shifted its focus to “creation of new finance-related businesses and infrastructures for people’s living by utilizing blockchain technologies” since October 2017 and in January 2018 it established the Monex Cryptocurrency Lab.

an animated man with big circle around his head and capital letters behind him

“We have been studying and experimenting on blockchain technology and cryptocurrency (crypto-assets) as its applied technology,” the statement reads.  

It provides no further details, but according to Nikkei, a deal for the purchase of Coincheck could be announced later this week. The price is seen at “several billion yen”.

A potential deal will provide Monex, whose main business is online securities trading, with access to Coincheck’s user base, which grew in line with the strong expansion of the cryptocurrency market last year.

Coincheck went into trouble at the end of January when it was targeted by hackers who stole some USD 530 million worth of NEM coins. NEM is Coincheck’s own digital token and was the 10th biggest cryptocurrency by market capitalization then.

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Coincheck admitted that more than 250 000 of its clients were affected by the theft and promised to reimburse them.

The hack attack brought Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) to Coincheck’s offices at the beginning of February. Following the inspection, FSA named Coincheck as one of 16 crypto exchanges in the country that have not yet obtained an operating license.

Japan was the first country in the world to require all crypto exchanges to register with the regulatory authorities.

According to Nikkei, Monex and Coincheck have already presented their merger plan to regulators and investors.