Monex, a Japanese financial corporation, is to begin offering a cryptocurrency trading service in the US in the first quarter of 2019.
The brand used will be Coincheck, a Japanese cryptocurrency exchange which Monex bought in April. The service will cater to big money customers only.
The news was announced at a Tokyo conference by John Bartleman, president of TradeStation, which is one of Monex’s other subsidiaries. He told Cointelegraph Japan that the first coins available on the platform will be Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, Ethereum, and “maybe” XRP. He also said that the company has applied for a money transmitter licence in all US states, and should receive them in between nine and twelve months.
Interestingly, Bartleman shared that TradeStation, which is a foreign exchange broker based in Florida, has invested in a different cryptocurrency exchange called ErisX, which will also cater to institutional traders in the US, pending regulatory approval. This entity raised $27.5 million from some of these institutions in December.
$500 Million Theft
Coincheck was once one of Japan’s major cryptocurrency exchanges before hackers stole approximately $500 million worth of cryptocurrency from it in January. The haul consisted of 523 million XEM tokens, which were worth $534 million at the time.
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The NEM Foundation, the company that created the token, laid the blame solely on the exchange. Reportedly, the tokens were stored separately, in a relatively basic wallet. The thieves got the money after somehow acquiring the password.
As soon as the theft became apparent, Coincheck froze XEM trading, informed the police, held a press conference, and promised to compensate all victims 81 cents to every dollar lost, out of its own pocket. The NEM Foundation managed to render the stolen money useless by tracking it.
The hack had a fairly significant effect on the Japanese cryptocurrency sector. The Financial Services Agency, the country’s financial watchdog, raided Coincheck’s offices, and then went on to carry out on-site inspections of all the other exchanges in the country. It served a number of them with suspensions; Coincheck itself received a ‘business improvement’ order.
The hack also led to the creation of the Virtual Currency Exchange Association by 16 of the country’s exchanges. The organisation has done things like ban the use of Monero and Zcash, which are cryptocurrencies that ensure user anonymity.
Toshihiko Katsuya, President of Coincheck, said at the aforementioned conference that his exchange is in the process of restarting its business in Japan, but is still waiting for a licence from the watchdog. It is taking longer than expected, according to Asia Nikkei Review.