Japanese brokerage firm Monex Group has confirmed the acquisition of embattled cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck for 3.6 billion yen ($34 million), scheduled later for this month. The Tokyo-based exchange was hacked earlier this year, when a staggering $530 million worth of NEM tokens were stolen.
As recently reported Coincheck accepted Monex’s acquisition bid. This morning, Monex announced it will be acquiring 100 percent of Coincheck’s shares, which are currently over 45 percent owned by Coincheck CEO Koichiro Wada. About 5 percent belong to a board member and just under 50 percent are in the hands of six other stakeholders.
Coincheck’s founding president Koichiro Wada and its chief operating officer Yusuke Otsuka will step down from the cryptocurrency exchange’s management when the brokerage firm takes over. In its press release, Monex recognized blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies “are likely to drastically change the way people approach money.”
The firm added:
“Most especially, the 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 who has been a pioneer among cryptocurrency exchangers.”
The Japanese online brokerage’s CEO Oki Matsumoto has announced plans to obtain regulatory approval for the exchange, with an aim to have Coincheck operational again in two months. Matsumoto even stated that Monex intends to have an IPO for Coincheck’s shares, a move that has never been done by a Japanese exchange.
Monex further acknowledged Coincheck’s hack, and revealed it’s going to support the exchange in order to “provide secure environment to customers and to grow sustainably as a socially valuable cryptocurrency exchange.”
The stolen tokens were reportedly stored in a hot wallet, and not secured in cold storage as is standard practice with such a large sum. The exchange cited technical difficulties and a lack of staff as the cause for one of the largest crypto heists in history, dwarfing even the notorious Mt Gox breach of 2014.
Since the hack, 132 investors have joined a class-action lawsuit against Coincheck for the refund of their stolen assets. The exchange is under investigation by the Japanese Financial Services Authority (FSA), which recently suspended several Japanese exchanges as a result of poor security and compliance standards.