In January, Coincheck had a massive theft when they lost $542 million worth of cryptocurrency to hackers. Coincheck had been criticized for not having a proper security system, which could have prevented the theft. Their reputation further declined when their investors demanded compensation and spent almost $430 million in reimbursement to investors.
Coincheck was taken over by the Monex Group, a Tokyo based online brokerage, who offered to work together and bring changes in the executive and management team.
When asked in an interview about why he chose to take over Coincheck when the future of cryptocurrencies is uncertain, Oki Matsumoto, the Chief Executive Officer of Monex Group told Nikkei:
“Acquiring Coincheck is meaningful for the Monex Group in that it brings us closer to the possibilities that blockchain technology and virtual currencies hold.”
He further added:
“Cryptocurrency exchanges hold much of the technology, knowledge and expertise in the field.”
In addition to ensuring good security to avoid an incident like the one in January this year, one of the clause in the acquisition agreement says that Coincheck would be paid an additional sum based on their performance, which is exclusive of the purchase price of $33.4 million.
He had planned to make virtual currencies and blockchain core components of the business. He said, “At first, I intended to set up those operations myself. But then the [Coincheck] acquisition came along in March — what luck!”
Matsumoto says that his engineers have technical knowledge, but don’t know how to apply it to the society or create rules.
“Someone needs to act as an interpreter between regulators and technical experts for the technology to advance. I want to play that role for virtual currencies”
According to Matsumoto, virtual currencies are ‘too big to look past’ as they are worth 5% of the Gold markets’ value and cannot be ignored as assets. Acquiring Coincheck is a part of his mission to redefine finance.
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