Monex CEO says Japan’s Digital Currency Exchanges needs Tighter Regulation

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Japan’s Crypto Exchange should be Regulated as Banks, says Monex CEO Oki Matsumoto

The Chief Executive of online dealer Monex Group Inc said that Japan’s digital currency exchange should be regulated like Banks.

On Monday, Monex Inc., Japan’s No. 3 online brokerage regarding user accounts, concluded its acquisition of Tokyo-based cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck for 3.6 billion yen ($33.6 million), after the exchange’s $530 million hacks at the end of January.

CEO of Monex Oki Matsumoto said in an interview that as Japan’s crypto exchanges do both matching and custodial services, they are close to a bank, adding that:

“To someone in the financial industry like myself, it’s common sense that regulations will get stringent.”

There are at present 32 digital currency exchanges operating in Japan. While rules proposed a year ago need exchanges to keep customers and company assets separate, the practice has not been defined.

The acquisition of Coincheck allows it to enter the digital currency sector, a major move made by a major financial company. Mr. Toshihiko Katsuya, Monex chief operating officer, is presumed to take over as the new company president.

A week ago, Japan said it would purchase a stake in a Tokyo-based digital currency exchange. Messaging app operator Line Corp is also looking to join the market, while Monex’s biggest rival competitor SBI Holdings Inc holds a license to operate an exchange but has not yet started its operations.

According to a report, Yen-based trades accounted for over half of the global bitcoin trades over the last 24 hours.

The market so far responded positively to the gamble by Oki Matsumoto, who held a Coincheck account for three years before the crypto exchange was hacked. Monex shares have risen 66% since the brokerage said it was looking at purchasing Coincheck.

Still, Oki Matsumoto, who mine digital currencies, said few major companies would have had interested in acquiring Coincheck.

Suzat Fernandes

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