Major Japanese online brokerage has confirmed its foray into the cryptocurrency sector by announcing its acquisition of Tokyo-based exchange Coincheck for ¥3.6 billion ($33.5 million).
In an announcement on Friday, Monex confirmed it will acquire 100% of all 1,775,267 shares at a cost of ¥3,600 million yen in a share acquisition agreement signed today. The transfer of shares will go through on April 26 with Coincheck founder and chief executive Koichiro Wada and chief operating officer Yusuke Otsuka to step down from management on the same day after taking responsibility for the $530 million theft of NEM tokens in January.
The management reshuffle will also see Monex COO Toshihiko Katsuya take over as president of Coincheck, with Monex Group president Oki Matsumoto joining Coincheck’s new board.
“We recognize blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies as next-generation technologies and platforms which are likely to drastically change the way people approach money,” Monex said. As the fifth-largest retail stock brokerage by transactions in 2017, the company began to explore and develop blockchain applications by establishing the ‘Money Cryptocurrency Lab’ in October 2017 as a means to get a proactive leg-up by embracing financial technologies.
Underlining its big bet on the cryptocurrency sector, the online brokerage announced:
[T]he cryptocurrency exchange business plays a core part in a vision of “MONEX’s new beginning”. Therefore, the Company has resolved on 100% share acquisition of Coincheck which has been a pioneer among cryptocurrency exchanges.
The brokerage acknowledged the NEM theft in its announcement and insists it will build a secure Coincheck’s trading environment for customers by specifically using its own expertise and human resources in business administration, system risk management and customer asset protection systems within the exchange.
“We will support Coincheck to provide [a] secure environment to customers and to grow sustainably as a socially valuable cryptocurrency exchanger,” Monex added.