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Monex | Japanese Financial Services Firm Behind Crypto Exchange Coincheck

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June 2, 2020 | 

Dan Mitchell |  0 Comments| 

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Japan gets widely regarded as an innovator and trailblazer with regards to industry and technology. 

Also true when it comes to cryptocurrency, even when compared to its neighbours in the Asia-Pacific region who are also mostly pro-crypto. Many of the top companies have come from Asia, such as Binance which was initially founded and headquartered in China).

Japanese financial services business Monex Group, Inc entered the cryptocurrency space in April 2018 when it announced its acquisition of cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck for 3.6 billion yen. 

What is Coincheck: A Significant Acquisition?

Coincheck is a Japanese cryptocurrency exchange and wallet service, founded in 2012 by Koichiro Wada and Yusuke Otsuka. It promises 24/7 trading availability with supported cryptos including BTC, ETH, XRP, LTC and BCH (all with JPY fiat pairings).

The exchange also boasts advanced security assurances with two-factor authentication (2FA) and a cold wallet, and the latter offers non-custodial wallet with no keys hosted on-server. On the one hand: this means that all liability is on the customer. However, it has the benefit of protecting user funds in the case of targeted exchange hacks/thefts.

On March 11, 2020, it gets reported that police had arrested two suspects in Tokyo for the attempted purchase of stolen cryptocurrency: individually, NEM tokens valued at USD 530 million (523 million NEM). These tokens had got stolen in a targeted hack executed against Coincheck, which affected approximately 260,000 users.

Initially, a bad PR for the exchange, however since they have promised to refund all affected customers.

Additional services include: 

  • Periodical Purchases: Customisable automated periodical purchase tool/service.
  • Coincheck Lending: leveraged margin trading.
  • Coincheck Denki: “Pay your electric bill with Bitcoin and earn cashback.”
  • Coincheck Gas: “Pay your gas bill with Bitcoin and earn cashback.”
  • Coincheck Surveys: “Answer surveys and receive Bitcoin, Ethereum, or Ripple!”

monex financial service
Monex Group is an international conglomerate which is based in Japan, with primary operations spanning Japan, US, Asia-Pacific (also has operations in Europe). Its origins span back to 1999, with the founding of securities-focused financial services company: Monex, Inc. 
More About Monex

In March 2019, around one year after the acquisition of Coincheck, Monex revealed that it would be distributing a small payment to its shareholders in the form of bitcoin cryptocurrency, BTC at the value of 500 Yen (USD 4.53). This payment was delivered directly to investors’ nominated bitcoin wallet addresses.

As the two are both Japan-based giants in the financial services sector, it is easy to see why comparisons are drawn between SBI Holdings and Monex Group.

As Monex’s first major crypto-focused acquisition, Coincheck marks the official start of its cryptocurrency and blockchain operations and finally puts it on a starting foot against top rival SBI Holdings. Monex’s share value rose by 20% in the aftermath. 

SBI Holdings most prominent position in cryptocurrency and blockchain (globally) is due to its partnership with Ripple, which has enabled further expansion in Japan locally also through the integration of Ripple’s MoneyTap app.

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