Crypto-exchanges should be regulated like banks: Monex Chief, Oki Matsumoto
According to Chief executive of the online brokerage Monex Group Inc. Japan’s cryptocurrency exchanges should be regulated more like banks.
The reason behind this according to him is, as the exchanges hold the investors’ assets while providing the trading platforms, which can be risky.
Monex is Japan’s 3rd most popular online brokerage, acquired Coincheck Inc in 3.6 billion yen ($33.6 million). Coincheck was recently hit by a theft of $530 million digital money.
Coincheck also provides services like “matching” for customers who want to trade digital money.
“Japan’s exchanges do both matching and custodial services - they’re close to a bank,” CEO Oki Matsumoto told Reuters in an interview. “To someone in the financial industry like myself, it’s common sense that regulations will get stricter.”
Currently, approximately 32 exchanges are functioning in Japan. Rule to keep customers’ and company assets separate were introduced in 2017 but the practice has not been clearly defined.
Monex’s purchase of Coincheck allows it to enter the cryptocurrency market while utilizing Coinchecks’ existing developed trading platform and customer base.
Monex is having a tough competition by other companies in the market, as they too take a plunge into the crypto market.
Last week, Yahoo Japan announced that it would buy a stake in a Tokyo-based cryptocurrency exchange. Messaging app operator Line Corp is also looking to join the market, while Monex’s larger rival competitor SBI Holdings Inc holds a license to run an exchange but has not yet begun operations.
Monex shares went up by 66 percent since the brokerage announced its plan of buying Coincheck, touching their highest in a decade.
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