Retail broker Monex released a statement on Wednesday saying that it is launching a new service where Monex Points can be exchanged for cryptocurrencies.
A reward system of sorts, users of the Japanese firm’s services are given the points for their trading activity — the more trading a user does, the more points they are rewarded with.
Until now, points could be used to pay for transaction fees, exchanged with equivalent points at other companies or to purchase items such as books.
But after 20:00, Japanese time, on Wednesday, Monex users will be able to buy cryptocurrencies with them.
The firm said that traders would be able to purchase ethereum, bitcoin, and ripple with their points.
Each point will be equivalent to one Japanese yen – a bit less than one cent in US dollars.
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Monex and Coincheck working together at last
The new cryptocurrency scheme was set up in conjunction with cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck.
Famous for having been hacked for over half a billion dollars worth of cryptocurrency in January of 2018, Coincheck was acquired by Monex in April of the same year for 3.6 billion yen ($32.2 million).
Wednesday’s announcement marks the first time that Monex has collaborated with its acquisition. It’s also very unlikely to be the last.
The brokerage giant, once the dominant player in Japan’s retail trading market, has seen stiff competition from rivals Rakuten Securities and SBI over the past couple of years.
Things are going to get tougher soon as Nomura and the messaging application Line look set to establish their own trading platform.
Expanding into the cryptocurrency markets was one way for Monex to stay ahead of, or perhaps keep up with, its competitors.
Thus, we can probably expect to see greater integration between the two firms in the coming months.