According to the Nikkei Asian Review, the cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck may be bought out this week by the Japanese online broker Monex. The Nikkei suggests the buyout will be worth several million yen and that Coincheck’s founding President Koichiro Wada and Chief Operating Officer Yusuke Otsuka are expected to step down from their current positions. No deal has been confirmed yet, but we’re likely to know more before the week is out.
Since the Coincheck heist in January, the Japanese FSA have been coming down hard on Crypto exchanges, and this has made acquiring a license to operate in the region increasingly difficult. Partnering with Monex probably represents an attempt by Coincheck to ensure they can satisfy the FSA’s demands for the exchange to introduce better security measures — something Coincheck has struggled to do alone.
In the wake of this news Bitcoin’s price was boosted by 5% (up to $7,417) on Tuesday morning and Monex’s shares went up by 23%, so the market clearly sees the potential takeover as a positive move. The fact that news involving Coincheck has had this effect on the market starkly contrasts the mood in January and suggests that there is still hope, especially under new management, of the exchange repairing the damage done to its reputation.
Eyes on Japan
The region is worth paying close attention to in April as news is due to break not only about this high-profile buyout, but the planned establishment of a new self-regulatory body created by 16 of Japan’s registered coin exchanges.
Despite the January hack, the nation is still largely positive about cryptocurrency, and this month we may see that outlook brighten even further.
Michael is an English and Creative writing graduate of Liverpool John Moore’s University, a former editor of several magazines, and a crypto-currency enthusiast. He is mostly interested in crypto-legislation and the potential of decentralized technology to change the world.