Monex Group Hopes Recent Coincheck Crypto Exchange Acquisition Will Give Edge Over Rivals

Monex Group recently announced that they have acquired a cryptocurrency exchange, according to an article with Bloomberg. The company is hoping to use this acquisition in their favor, improving the securities arm in an effort to regain what they’ve lost to rivals. In fact, it appears that the brokerage unit is toying with the idea of offering digital currencies to retail clients.

The crypto asset offering would be done with Coincheck, Inc. According to Monex Securities’ new president, Yuko Seimei, this company was recently awarded an exchange license in January. Seimei admits that the company has

“fallen a little behind,” which is likely referencing the market share that competitors are holding, which includes Rakuten Inc and SBI Holdings. Seimei even notes that the only way to “close the gap” is to stop “doing things the way we have.”

The plan that Seimei is wanting to put into practice will come with its own set of challenges, considering that institutional investors are not exactly clamoring to get involved with stocks and digital currencies, considering the last year of activity. Still, it is worth noting that the Japanese economy is one of the most active trading markets in cryptocurrency, and the regulators there have been very easy to work with, even with the hacks plaguing multiple exchanges like Coincheck.

The Monex Group was originally created in 1999, and once stood in the ranks as the largest online brokerages. However, at least for now, both SBI and Rakuten have taken the lead, now that Monex Group has the fifth-highest volume in online trade. Nomura Holdings is heavy competition as well, considering that they are looking to launch an online brokerage, collaborating with Line Corp, a messaging platform.

It looks like the ability to make the most of business endeavors is the reason for seeing such success from SBI and Rakuten, according to Seimei. One of those changes with Rakuten, for example, is that consumers have the ability to redeem points that they earn with their spending at the shopping websites for the group. Those redemptions also let consumers invest in stocks.

The acquisition of Coincheck happened last year, which was an effort to help the exchange to collect itself after a $500 million crypto hack took place in January 2018. After the acquisition, the new goal became getting the license that Coincheck already had in place with the Financial Services Agency.

Considering that Seimei is the first woman to head up this type of business in Japan, she has been questioned over whether she finds her gender to be a disadvantage. However, she does not think that it is, noting that the most severe reaction has simply been-surprise from the clients she sees. However, she sees this as a beneficial consequence, adding that her ability to stand out

“helped imprint me deeply into their memory.”

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