Japanese online brokerage Monex Group considers adding cryptocurrencies

Japan’s oldest online brokerage Monex Group Inc. is hoping to get more clients by adding cryptocurrencies to its products, Bloomberg writes.

Japan’s oldest online brokerage Monex Group Inc. is hoping to get more clients by adding cryptocurrencies to its products, Bloomberg writes. The company purchased cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck in 2018, following a hack that lost the exchange $500 million. In January, Coincheck obtained an exchange license from the Financial Services Agency.

According to Yuko Seimei, Monex Securities Inc.’s new president, the company needs to introduce changes fast as it has “fallen a little bit behind.” Seimei said, “If we keep doing things the way we have, we may not be able to close the gap,” referring to brokerage’s competitors, such as SBI Holdings or Rakuten. Bloomberg writes Japan’s largest securities company Nomura Holdings Inc. is also planning to launch an online brokerage.

Monex sees cryptocurrencies as a chance. Despite volatility, Japan is still one of the most active cryptocurrency trading markets.

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Tokyo stocks open higher tracking gains in US shares

In Tokyo, mobile and investment fund SoftBank Group rose 1.98% to ¥11 055, chip-making equipment manufacturer Tokyo Electron rallied 3.25% to …

Tokyo stocks opened higher on Monday, tracking gains on Wall Street due to optimism over US-China trade talks, with investors closely eyeing the US Federal Reserve’s meeting later this week.

The Nikkei 225 index added 0.65% to 21 590.49 in early trade, while the broader Topix index climbed 0.43% to 1 609.45.

“Japanese shares are seen supported by rallies in the US market,” Toshiyuki Kanayama, senior market analyst at Monex, said in a commentary.

But traders may stay on the sidelines as they eye the Fed’s two-day policy meeting through on Wednesday, analysts said.

Japanese exports declined for the third straight month, according to government data released 10 minutes before the opening bell.

The continued decline in exports “may prompt concerns that the Japanese economy may be slowing down on the backdrop of the slowing Chinese economy,” Daiwa Securities strategist Tsuyoshi Nomaguchi said in a commentary.

The dollar fetched ¥111.53 in early Asian trade, against ¥111.51 in New York on Friday.

In Tokyo, mobile and investment fund SoftBank Group rose 1.98% to ¥11 055, chip-making equipment manufacturer Tokyo Electron rallied 3.25% to ¥15 715, and market heavyweight Fast Retailing was up 0.11% at ¥53 550.

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Coincheck wins approval to run cryptocurrency exchange a year after massive theft

Virtual currency exchanges are not allowed to operate without registering with the FSA. Those including Coincheck that had been in business before …

About a year after a massive digital heist that shocked the cryptocurrency industry around the world, Japan’s financial watchdog gave Coincheck Inc. the green light Friday to officially run a virtual currency exchange.

Following the Coincheck hacking case in late January that cost the Tokyo-based startup ¥58 billion worth of NEM coins, the Financial Services Agency began inspecting other exchanges, stalling the approval process for newcomers. No new operators were given the OK last year as a result.

With Coincheck gaining permission, the FSA will likely proceed with the examination process for other companies. The watchdog has said about 190 firms have shown interest in the exchange business.

Virtual currency exchanges are not allowed to operate without registering with the FSA. Those including Coincheck that had been in business before the new regulation took effect in April 2017 were only allowed to operate on a tentative basis.

After the Coincheck hack, the FSA ordered Coincheck to improve its management, security and internal controls.

“The managerial environment of the cryptocurrency industry changes rapidly. We must make unceasing efforts to improve security and internal control,” Coincheck CEO Toshihiko Katsuya told a news conference Friday.

Last April, Monex Group Inc., a major online brokerage, announced plans to acquire Coincheck as it believes crypto-based businesses will be a driver of growth in the future.

The Monex group has been running its online financial business since 1999, so it claims to have a plenty of know-how and experience building robust security systems and inner management that it can share with Coincheck.

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Japan Approves 17th Cryptocurrency Exchange – Its First in Over a Year

It has been over a year since Japan’s Financial Services Agency last approved a cryptocurrency exchange to legally operate in the country. Coincheck …
Japan Approves 17th Crypto Exchange – Its First in Over a Year
Exchanges
3 hours ago

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By

Kevin Helms

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It has been over a year since Japan’s Financial Services Agency last approved a cryptocurrency exchange to legally operate in the country. Coincheck, which was hacked early last year, has become the 17th fully-registered crypto exchange in the country. The exchange has made numerous improvements after it was acquired by Monex Group.

Also read: Indian Supreme Court Moves Crypto Hearing, Community Calls for Positive Regulations

FSA Finally Approves Coincheck

Japan Approves 17th Cryptocurrency Exchange – Its First in Over a YearJapan’s top financial regulator, the Financial Services Agency (FSA), announced on Friday that it has approved the registration of Coincheck as a cryptocurrency exchange. Under the country’s Payment Service Act, all crypto exchanges must register with the FSA.

The exchange’s parent company, Monex Group, also issued a press release on Friday with registration details. The announcement reads:

Coincheck Inc … announced today that it has registered with the Kanto Financial Bureau as a cryptocurrency exchange agency in accordance with the Payment Service Act, effective January 11, 2019.

Japan Approves 17th Cryptocurrency Exchange – Its First in Over a YearAccording to the FSA’s website, Coincheck handles nine cryptocurrencies: BTC, ETH, ETC, LSK, FCT, XRP, XEM, LTC, and BCH.

Japan Approves 17th Cryptocurrency Exchange – Its First in Over a YearAfter it was hacked in January last year, Coincheck suspended certain services “to focus on enhancing governance and internal controls by developing business improvement plans and carrying them out,” the company explained. On Nov. 26, services for tradable cryptocurrencies were resumed including depositing, remitting, purchasing and selling.

Coincheck originally applied for registration with the FSA in September 2017. While the regulator approved 16 crypto exchanges throughout that year, it continued to evaluate Coincheck. The exchange was classified as a deemed dealer, which means it was allowed to operate while the FSA reviewed its application.

Needed Improvements Made

Japan Approves 17th Cryptocurrency Exchange – Its First in Over a YearIn Friday’s announcement, Coincheck outlined six areas it had addressed in order to comply with the FSA’s registration requirements. The exchange has “improved governance fundamentally,” “revisited the business strategy and ensured customer protection,” “strengthened governance control by the board,” “clarified risks on cryptocurrencies being offered by the company,” “implemented measures on anti-money laundering (AML) and countering the finance of terrorism (CFT),” and “revised organizational structure to ensure validity.”

Japan Approves 17th Cryptocurrency Exchange – Its First in Over a YearMonex Group made an announcement on Dec. 25, explaining to investors that neither it nor Coincheck offers “cryptocurrency mining-related business including cryptocurrency mining itself.” This clarification followed the announcements by GMO Internet and DMM.com regarding their own mining operations. GMO Internet said it will no longer develop, manufacture, and sell mining machines. DMM.com is reportedly exiting the cryptocurrency mining business altogether.

Furthermore, the company assured investors that it “does not conduct cryptocurrency transactions on its own account,” adding:

Coincheck Inc. does conduct cover transactions with domestic and overseas cryptocurrency exchanges speedily for the positions that resulted from the selling and buying transactions with customers.

The approval of Coincheck comes more than a year after the last cryptocurrency exchange, Bitocean, was approved by the FSA on Dec. 26, 2017. The hack of Coincheck in January prompted the agency to slow down the rate of approvals and began tightening its oversight of crypto exchanges, forcing 13 out of 16 deemed dealers to exit the market. Nonetheless, the FSA told news.Bitcoin.com at the end of last year that more than 190 crypto exchange operators have expressed their intention of market entry.

What do you think of the Japanese regulator finally granting registration to Coincheck? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Coincheck.


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