Earlier this week it was revealed that Japanese online brokerage company Monex Group is considering buying aa majority stake in the Tokyo-based Coincheck cryptocurrency exchange, which became the target of a cyber-attack in late January.
The news was first reported by local publication Nikkei Asian Review, which said on Tuesday that the deal could be worth several billion yen and could be announced as early as this week. The newspaper attributed the information to unnamed sources.
In a press release published later on Tuesday, Monex confirmed that it was considering making the acquisition, but the deal had not yet been finalised.
The news contributed to the strong performances seen across the cryptocurrency market during the Tuesday session. Major currencies such as Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH) and Ripple (XRP) rose to multi-day highs during the session, though they failed to defend their gains in yesterday’s trading. Meanwhile, following the initial reports, the Monex share price surged by 23%, which is the daily limit allowed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, Nikkei said.
Brian Kelly, founder and chief executive officer of BK Capital Management, explained in comments to CNBC why this is a positive development for the cryptocurrency industry.
“It's a massive confidence boost; you now have a regulated public company in Japan buying into a crypto exchange," Kelly said, as quoted by CNBC. "This puts a stamp of approval, and Japan is a huge driver of this market."
If the deal is finalises, Kelly expects that Monex’s US-based online brokerage TradeStation would, in one way or another, be attached to Coincheck. TradeStation launched Bitcoin futures trading earlier this year and also offers real-time market data for the five largest cryptocurrencies, CNBC notes.
Coincheck is the cryptocurrency exchange lost more than $500 million worth of NEM tokens in a hacking attack on January 26. Following the incident, Japan’s financial watchdog launched a probe into both registered and unregistered crypto exchange to check for security flaws that could enable money laundering or endanger customers’ funds. As a result of these checks, the regulator issued a wave of punitive measures against a number of exchanges operating in the country. Coincheck was one of the platforms that received regulatory notices to raise its business standards.