The hacked Japanese cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck has officially been acquired by one of Japan’s largest online brokerage firms. Monex Group has outlined its plans of reviving Coincheck and the risks associated with the acquisition.
Coincheck has officially become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Monex Group on April 16, local media reported after the leading online securities firm agreed to invest 3.6 billion yen (~US$33.55 million) in the acquisition of the exchange. Monex is among Japan’s largest online brokerage firms, whose competitors include SBI Securities, Rakuten Securities, Matsui Securities and Kabu.com.
In a press conference on Friday, Monex disclosed Coincheck’s financials for the fiscal year ending March 31. The exchange’s revenue was 980 million yen (~$9.13 million) and its net operating income was 719 million yen (~$6.7 million). Moreover, the exchange has approximately 1.7 million user accounts and 71 employees.
Monex CEO Oki Matsumoto told Coincheck’s employees, as reported by Business Insider Japan, “There are no personnel changes,” adding that Monex will respect the salaries and treatment of Coincheck’s employees and will not “change the company name or logo, and emphasizes continuity.” Citing that he believes the Japanese Financial Services Agency (FSA) will grant the new Coincheck registration “within two months,” he reiterated at the press conference:
We will restart Coincheck business within two months.
Key Executive Changes
The business improvement order issued by the FSA under the fund settlement law mandates both key executives of Coincheck, CEO Koichiro Wada and COO Yusuke Otsuka, to resign from the company’s Board of Directors.
Former Coincheck CEO Koichiro Wada.
“While leaving is the requirement of the Financial Services Agency, Mr. Wada and Mr. Otsuka remain as executive officers,” the news outlet noted. Executive officers make day-to-day management decisions. For important matters, the Board of Directors, consisting of Monex staff, holds the decision making power.
Monex COO Toshihiko Katsuya will be appointed the new president of Coincheck while Matsumoto will also serve as the director.
I and Otsuka will retire as of April 16, but I will continue to fulfill my responsibilities as an executive officer for the development of the industry and the protection of customers’ assets.
In January, Coincheck was hacked and lost 58 billion yen (~$541 million) worth of the cryptocurrency NEM, which the exchange has paid out from its own earnings, Wada detailed. However, as customers were paid in Japanese yen, some have filed lawsuits against the exchange for the return of their cryptocurrencies instead.
Refuting reports that Coincheck was “bought cheaply,” the CEO of Monex Group was quoted by Nikkei:
Coincheck is a company that is not a registrant of the FSA with litigation. From the common sense of listed companies, the acquisition is a considerable risk.
However, he further explained, “The risk of litigation has been discussed with lawyers and it ranges from 1 billion to 2 billion yen [~$18.6 million] at the most,” adding that the cost will be borne by existing shareholders and the burden of Monex will be limited.
What do you think of Monex’s plans to revive Coincheck? Do you think Coincheck will become popular again? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Monex Group, and Coincheck.
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