Previously Hacked Coincheck Setting Sights on US Expansion

Monex Inc., the Japanese-based brokerage firm that recently acquired Coincheck – the cryptocurrency exchange that suffered the biggest hack in the history of blockchain – has unveiled plans to bring Coincheck’s trading platform to the United States. 

In an interview with Bloomberg, Monex Inc. CEO Oki Matsumoto says he expects Coincheck will receive an official license from Japan’s Financial Services Agency, the regulatory agency that oversees financial markets including cryptocurrency, and that the company will then explore expanding into Western countries including the US.

Matsumoto stopped short of specifying a timeline for the expansion, saying that although Japan has a lead in creating a cryptocurrency friendly market in the region, he expects the US and Europe to soon take over. Matsumoto explained:

“Japan may seem like it’s one step ahead in crypto, but in terms of deciding what’s a security or a token and attracting institutional investors, the U.S. and Europe are moving ahead,”

Matsumoto believes that Western countries will soon be more welcoming for crypto ventures due to lower taxes and interest from institutions, referencing France’s decision to lower the capital gains tax rate by more than half to 19%, while in Japan the rate remains a staggering 55%. Matsumoto also believes the US will have an even greater regulatory impact on the global crypto market, saying that whatever “the U.S. decides will have a huge impact on Japan.”

Coincheck was the subject of the cryptocurrency industry’s largest ever hack, losing over $500 million in NEM tokens to hackers, sparking a domino effect of increased regulation and scrutiny of cryptocurrency exchanges in Japan, by the region’s Financial Services Agency. 

Since the hack, exchanges all over Japan have been closing under the FSA’s stricter compliance guidelines. Coincheck, however, has resumed operations, and was acquired by Monex Inc. in early April.