Coincheck to Delist Privacy Coins Monero, Zcash, and Dash

Japanese cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck has will delist trading pairs for privacy-centric cryptocurrencies monero (XMR), zcash (ZEC), and dash (DASH) next month. The Tokyo-based exchange, which was purchased by brokerage firm Monex following a high-profile January hack that saw the platform lose $530 million in NEM tokens (XEM), announced on Friday that it will no longer

The post Coincheck to Delist Privacy Coins Monero, Zcash, and Dash appeared first on CCN

Japanese Exchange Coincheck Eyes America for Expansion

Japanese Exchange Coincheck Eyes America for Expansion         

Coincheck, the Japanese crypto trading platform that found new owners after it was hacked earlier this year, is now planning to offer services on the US market. The exchange expects to be licensed in Japan next month, according to the chief executive of Monex, the online brokerage which bought the troubled company last month.    

Also read: Coincheck Resumes Monero Withdrawals and Sales

Coincheck’s US Plans – Part of the Comeback

Japanese Exchange Coincheck Eyes America for ExpansionRecognizing the need to “study carefully” the legal framework for cryptocurrencies in the US, Japanese exchange Coincheck is planning to expand its operations and its customer base in America, building on top of over 2 million accounts in Japan. No timeframe has been specified yet, but the move is under consideration by the platform’s new management. Its operator, Coin Check Co., became a wholly owned subsidiary of Monex Group in April after losing some ¥58 billion worth of NEM (~$550 million USD at the time) in a hacker attack in January – one of the biggest heists in crypto history.

“The legal framework for cryptocurrency in the US is somehow wandering right now – money transfer, commodity, security. And, the rules are different state by state. So, we have to study this carefully. But the short answer is ‘yes’,” Monex CEO Oki Matsumoto told Bloomberg in an interview about Coincheck’s future intentions. He also revealed that the exchange, which spent a lot of funds and efforts to improve security and restore confidence, is expecting to receive a license in Japan next month. Matsumoto’s comments indicated that bringing the trading platform to the US is also part of the plans for the comeback.

Japanese Exchange Coincheck Eyes America for Expansion

For many observers, the purchase of the notoriously hacked cryptocurrency exchange for $34 million might have looked like a risky investment, but the takeover has so far proven to be a positive move for Monex. Its shares have almost doubled in price since the news of the acquisition broke in April. Doing crypto business in the US may not seem like a great idea either, given that the company comes from Japan, a country known for its much friendlier crypto atmosphere.

A Different Perspective of the West

Matsumoto, however, has a different reading of the situation as he sees favorable conditions forming in the West, including lower taxes and growing interest from institutional money managers. France was mentioned in the interview in the light of last month’s government decision to lower the crypto capital gains tax rate by more than half – to 19 percent, compared to Japan’s 55 percent.

Japanese Exchange Coincheck Eyes America for ExpansionAnother sign of the warming climate in Paris was the Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire’s statement this week that he was wrong about cryptocurrencies before. “I was a neophyte a year ago, but now I’m passionate. It took me a year, so let’s […] make France the first place for blockchain and crypto innovation in the EU,” Le Maire was quoted as saying at a meeting with entrepreneurs and representatives of the French startup Blockchain Partner. According to Bitcoin.fr, he also assured the members of the French crypto community of his “total support.”

The Japanese government does not plan any tax cuts for crypto-related incomes and gains and that, according to Oki Matsumoto, means that cryptocurrency will remain a “plaything for speculators.” Despite legalizing crypto trade last year, Tokyo has yet to determine the status of crypto-related financial products such as futures contracts, which will require some amendments to the Japanese securities law.

“Japan may seem like it’s one step ahead in crypto, but in terms of deciding what’s a security or a token, and in terms of attracting institutional investors, the US and Europe are moving ahead,” the chief executive of Monex said. In his opinion, the classification of cryptocurrencies in the United States will create regulatory clarity which is necessary to draw more investors. Matsumoto believes that the decisions US regulators take will influence the role of cryptocurrencies, in general, and have a huge impact on the crypto policies in his country, in particular.

What are your expectations for the future of crypto industries in both Japan and the US? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.  


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Need to calculate your bitcoin holdings? Check our tools section.

The post Japanese Exchange Coincheck Eyes America for Expansion appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Coincheck Plans to Expand into US Market

Coincheck will expand into the US

Monex Inc., the new owner of the cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck, has announced that Coincheck will expand into the US.

Monex acquired Coincheck back in April, not long after Coincheck experienced one of the largest crypto hacks of all time. Coincheck has been working to recover ever since but hasn’t fully succeeded yet. Now, in the hopes of helping the exchange to recover further, Monex plans to expand Coincheck into the US, reports Bloomberg.

Getting over the crypto hack isn’t the only reason Coincheck is expanding into the US, though. The CEO of Monex, Oki ...

Get latest cryptocurrency news on bitcoin, ethereum, initial coin offerings, ICOs, ethereum and all other cryptocurrencies. Learn How to trade on cryptocurrency exchanges.

All content provided by Crypto Currency News is subject to our Terms Of Use and Disclaimer.

Coincheck Resumes Monero Withdrawals and Sales

Coincheck Resumes Monero Withdrawals and Sales

Japanese exchange Coincheck has announced partial resumption of operations with Monero. Its clients will be able to withdraw and sell XMR, but purchases are still unavailable. All previous requests for transactions have been canceled and users will have to initiate new transfers. They will be required to confirm the destination address, and state the purpose of each transaction. 

Also read: Coincheck Recorded Profit Despite the Hack While Victims Hit with Taxes

Identity Verification Introduced

Hacked Japanese exchange Coincheck has announced it is partially resuming operations with the privacy coin Monero. Withdraws and sales of XMR will be available to its users, but not purchases. According to a notice published on its website on Monday, new procedures have been introduced to ensure security for the traders.

All previous requests for transactions have been canceled and users will have to initiate new transfers. They will also be required to confirm the destination address, and state the reason for each transaction in a dedicated field. The system will automatically request confirmation for the information associated with every transaction.

Coincheck Resumes Monero Withdrawals and Sales

Another security feature that has been introduced by the platform is the mandatory identity verification for users sending funds in any cryptocurrency or Japanese yen. The initial verification process may take up to several days, Coincheck informs its customers, asking for their understanding.

When sending/selling XMR, traders will be prompted to confirm the information they have provided with their registration. Any change to the details has to be verified before a crypto withdrawal can be processed. A confirmation screen will be displayed during the first transaction request after the resumption of the operations with Monero. The purpose of the remittance should be stated.

Price Fluctuations May Triger Suspension of Trade

Coincheck warns that due to the expected traffic its clients may face difficulties when trying to connect to the platform’s servers. The exchange also notes that if the trading volume increases rapidly, or if any unforeseen problems occur, it may temporarily or even permanently suspend trading at its own discretion. The same could happen “automatically” in case of sudden price fluctuations.

In the press release, Coincheck apologizes again for the suspension of its services following the attack on the platform in January. The Japanese exchange lost some ¥58 billion worth of NEM (~$550 million USD at the time) in one of the biggest hacks in crypto history. According to cybersecurity experts quoted by the Japanese press, half of the XEM coins have been laundered already on the darknet. In March, the NEM Foundation announced it would no longer track the stolen cryptos. Customers who lost funds have been compensated in yen.

Coincheck Resumes Monero Withdrawals and SalesImplementing measures to recover from the heist, Coincheck was expected to drop three cryptocurrencies providing high levels of anonymity – Monero, Zcash, and Dash. According to sources quoted by the Japan Times, the exchange has recognized the risks associated with these coins that can potentially facilitate money laundering. It has been previously criticized by regulators for its policies allowing traders to remain anonymous. According to some recent reports, Japan’s Financial Services Agency has been urging trading platforms to delist privacy coins.

Coincheck insists that it has taken adequate steps to maintain security and prevent money laundering and terrorism financing. It also says that it will resume trading gradually, giving priority to the protection of the assets of its customers. The cryptocurrency trading platform is operated by Coin Check Co., Ltd. On April 16 the company became a subsidiary of Monex Group, a large Japanese online brokerage firm. Toshihiko Katsuya, Former Chief Operating Officer of Monex Group, now serves as President and CEO of Coin Check Co.

Do expect Coincheck to resume normal trading operations in the near future? Tell us in the comments sections below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


At Bitcoin.com there’s a bunch of free helpful services. For instance, have you seen our Tools page? You can even lookup the exchange rate for a transaction in the past. Or calculate the value of your current holdings. Or create a paper wallet. And much more.

The post Coincheck Resumes Monero Withdrawals and Sales appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Japan Bolsters Crypto Exchange Regulations to Prevent Another Coincheck

Japanese regulators have announced stricter regulations for cryptocurrency exchanges in an effort to prevent another heist like the one that befell Coincheck in January, according to Nikkei Asian Review. The country’s Financial Services Agency expects to begin using a new, stricter framework for registered cryptocurrency exchanges this summer, and will advise those that fail to … Continued

The post Japan Bolsters Crypto Exchange Regulations to Prevent Another Coincheck appeared first on CCN

Japanese Regulator Pressures Exchanges to Drop Privacy Coins

Japanese Regulator Pressures Exchanges to Drop Privacy Coins

Japan’s Financial Services Agency, tasked with monitoring the country’s cryptocurrency exchanges, has quietly been pressuring platforms to delist privacy coins. Coincheck has already done so in the wake of the $400 million NEM hack. If fellow exchanges follow suit, it could signal the beginning of the end for privacy coins such as zcash and monero on Japanese and possibly even global exchanges.

Also read: Bitcoin Cash Adoption Continues: Crypto Cafebar, Gold Vendor, Concealed-Carry Clothing

FSA Gives Privacy Coins the Thumbs Down

Japanese Regulator Pressures Exchanges to Drop Privacy CoinsJapan’s FSA is reportedly urging exchanges to move away from privacy coins, which it associates with money laundering, drug dealing and other nefarious activities. Coins such as monero, zcash, and dash all fall into this category, even though the latter two provide opt-in privacy only, a feature that most users don’t enable. Forbes reports sources close to the FSA as confirming that the regulator is clamping down on anonymous currencies because they are difficult to trace.

The news, while not surprising, is nevertheless concerning. Many of crypto’s most passionate advocates were attracted to the technology in the first place for its ability to provide a measure of anonymity on an increasingly surveilled and privacy-free internet. Without optional anonymity, or at least pseudonymity, cryptocurrencies lose much of their appeal, and individuals lose their right to send payment to their peers without broadcasting their intentions to the world.

“Problematic” Monero Gets the Heave-Ho

If there’s one privacy coin that unites global lawmakers and regulators in their condemnation, it’s monero. At a meeting on April 10, Forbes reports that “Monero and Dash were both mentioned as highly problematic virtual currencies”. If true, the FSA appears to view privacy coins the way law enforcement forces view encryption: they don’t like it because it works – all of the time, and for all the people, be they good or bad.

In response to this news, monero lead developer Riccardo Spagni tweeted a popular anti-censorship quote:

Japanese Regulator Pressures Exchanges to Drop Privacy Coins

The jocular “Fluffypony” has a point. Japan’s crackdown on privacy coins could be the thin end of the wedge, presaging a global ban enforced by compliant exchanges. This isn’t as far-fetched as it might sound. It’s already widely assumed, for example, that Coinbase will never list a privacy coin for fear of irking the regulators it has spent years cozying up to. While no exchange wants to be accused of complicity in criminality, Coinbase has a particular aversion to anything that could be remotely associated with vice – which, rightly or wrongly, means any coin with privacy built in.

Due to its dominant position in the cryptoconomy, where Japan leads other nations tend to follow. If privacy coins were to be delisted, first in Japan, and then globally, it risks creating a two-state crypto economy: one highway for the compliant, regulated and fully KYC’d, and a darker lane for the privacy lovers, who buy they coins on unregulated exchanges and are tarred with the same brush as terrorists and money launderers.

Do you think privacy coins are in danger of being delisted en masse by global exchanges? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, and Twitter.


Need to calculate your bitcoin holdings? Check our tools section.

The post Japanese Regulator Pressures Exchanges to Drop Privacy Coins appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Japan’s SBI Unveils New Plans to Start an Exchange for Major Cryptocurrencies

Japan's SBI Unveils New Plans to Start Exchange For Major Cryptocurrencies

Japan’s SBI Holdings has reportedly unveiled new plans for its cryptocurrency exchange. The company has set a target launch date and is preparing to list major cryptocurrencies. The group’s CEO expects the new exchange to “be number one in the blink of an eye.”

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

Revised Launch Date

Japan's SBI Unveils New Plans to Start Exchange For Major CryptocurrenciesSBI Holdings has updated its plans to fully launch a cryptocurrency exchange. The company had planned for SBI Virtual Currencies to launch “in the autumn of 2017 and at the latest the beginning of 2018,” Minkabu publication recalled.

However, the plan was postponed following Coincheck’s hack and the trouble with its capital and business alliance agreement with China’s Huobi Group. These circumstances led the company to refrain from fully launching the exchange even though it had already received a license from the Japanese Financial Services Agency (FSA) in September of last year.

Japan's SBI Unveils New Plans to Start Exchange For Major Cryptocurrencies
Yoshitaka Kitao.

President and CEO Yoshitaka Kitao said at a press conference this week that the company is planning to officially start the crypto exchange business in the summer, the news outlet conveyed, adding that the exchange “is not a white label of other exchanges but a self-developed” one. SBI Virtual Currencies has, however, been offering a limited service to a few customers since January 30, according to Business Insider Japan.

As for which cryptocurrencies will be supported when the full launch comes, Kitao said that “it is assumed to be major virtual currencies, [including] bitcoin (BTC), bitcoin cash (BCH), ethereum (ETH), [and] ripple (XRP),” the news outlet detailed.

Expecting to Rise to the Top

The company has been carefully considering the timing of its exchange’s full launch based on the hack of Coincheck and the subsequent change in the business environment. The publication quoted Kitao exclaiming:

When we do it, it will be number one in the blink of an eye so quickly, so even if a tremendous number of customers come, we can build a system that can bear [the workload].

One factor that will differentiate SBI’s exchange from others is that “We set the spread to the industry minimum,” he described. The CEO is confident that this will propel his exchange to be the industry leader. “Given that the SBIFX trading spread of the group’s FX company is at the industry’s narrowest level, this is to be expected,” Minkabu commented.

Japan's SBI Unveils New Plans to Start Exchange For Major Cryptocurrencies

SBI already owns one of the largest security brokerages in Japan. “There are a total of 8.5 million accounts of financial affiliates such as SBI Securities Co. Ltd.,” the publication pointed out.

Kitao also emphasized the importance of building trust in the crypto community. To that effect, he recently assumed office as a director of the new self-regulating organization, the Japan Virtual Currency Exchange Association, which was recently established by 16 fully-licensed exchanges.

Do you think SBI’s crypto exchange will quickly become the number one exchange in Japan? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and SBI Holdings.


Need to calculate your bitcoin holdings? Check our tools section.

The post Japan’s SBI Unveils New Plans to Start an Exchange for Major Cryptocurrencies appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Crypto Exchange Coincheck Made $491 Million Profit Prior to Hack

Hacked cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck made 53.7 billion yen ($491 million) in profit for the fiscal year ending in March, according to financial data released on Thursday by parent company Monex. The exchange, which in January succumbed to a record-setting hack that saw the attackers make off with $530 million worth of NEM tokens (XEM), raked … Continued

The post Crypto Exchange Coincheck Made $491 Million Profit Prior to Hack appeared first on CCN

Coincheck Recorded Profit Despite the Hack While Victims Hit with Taxes

Coincheck Recorded Profit Despite the Hack While Victims Hit With Taxes

Japanese exchange Coincheck is still profitable after suffering one of the biggest hacks in cryptocurrency history. The exchange recorded an estimated writedown of 47.3 billion yen (~US$432.56 million) for the funds used to compensate customers. Victims, however, were slapped with tax bills.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

A Writedown for Coincheck

Coincheck Recorded Profit Despite the Hack While Victims Hit With TaxesIt has been roughly three months since one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in Japan was hacked for 58 billion yen (~US$530 million) worth of the cryptocurrency NEM. Coincheck is now a subsidiary of a leading Japanese online brokerage firm, Monex Group, after a 3.6 billion yen (~$40 million) acquisition. The exchange has repaid roughly 260,000 customers in Japanese yen.

The losses afforded the company a tax writedown. Coincheck’s parent company revealed on Thursday, as reported by Reuters:

Coincheck Inc recorded an estimated writedown of 47.3 billion yen ($432.56 million) for the year ended in March.

Still Profitable

Coincheck Recorded Profit Despite the Hack While Victims Hit With TaxesMonex also released Coincheck’s earnings on Thursday. The exchange now handles 13 cryptocurrencies and “its primary source of revenue is the commission known as ‘spread,’ or the premium it adds to the purchase price when delivering to customers,” Nikkei described, adding that for the fiscal year ended March:

The cryptocurrency exchange’s sales stood at 62.6 billion yen ($572 million) while operating profit came to 53.7 billion yen [~$491 million]. Its operating margin ratio was as high as 86%, indicating the company’s high-margin business model… Its net profit stood at 6.3 billion yen [~$58 million].

Coincheck Recorded Profit Despite the Hack While Victims Hit With Taxes
Oki Matsumoto.

This is after the company posted “an extraordinary loss of 47.3 billion yen [~$432 million]” as it refunded customers for the theft.

According to Asahi TV, Coincheck’s sales the previous year were about 980 million yen (~$9 million).

“In the future, regulations on the virtual currency exchange industry will be strengthened, and there is a possibility that the cost of necessary measures will be incurred,” Mainichi elaborated. The publication then quoted the CEO of Monex Group, Oki Matsumoto, detailing, “It is possible the profit margin of the virtual currency business [could] goes down…[but] The volume of transactions will increase and the profits as absolute will return to the level before [the hack].”

Victims Hit with Tax Bills

Coincheck Recorded Profit Despite the Hack While Victims Hit With TaxesAs Coincheck compensated theft victims in Japanese yen, the country’s National Tax Agency (NTA) added a section to its FAQs entitled “When receiving compensation in fiat instead of virtual currency from virtual currency exchange agent,” Kaikeizine reported.

Citing that the compensated yen will be treated as miscellaneous income, Oricon News emphasized:

The National Tax Agency considers getting compensation to be the same as selling virtual currency at the same price as compensating money and getting the same result. The tax authorities [say they] do not fall under tax exemptions and are taxed as miscellaneous income.

When the compensated amount is lower than the original acquisition price, taxpayers can deduct their losses, the news outlet explained. Nonetheless, “It is not possible to total with other income such as salary.”

While taxing capital gains is commonplace, tax accountant Takaaki Tanaka noted that “NEM holders who received compensation will be taxed at an unintended time without regard to the tax payment plan,” the publication conveyed.

What do you think of Coincheck remaining profitable despite the hack? What do you think of customers having to pay taxes on the repayments? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, NTA, Coincheck, and Monex.


Need to calculate your bitcoin holdings? Check our tools section.

The post Coincheck Recorded Profit Despite the Hack While Victims Hit with Taxes appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Another Crypto Exchange Ordered to Improve by Japanese Regulator

Another Crypto Exchange Ordered to Improve by Japanese Regulator

The Japanese financial regulator has targeted another cryptocurrency exchange for improvement after an on-site inspection revealed inadequate standards. The exchange must comply and submit a written report next month.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

Another Exchange Punished

The Japanese Financial Services Agency (FSA) has issued another “administrative punishment order” to a cryptocurrency exchange. On Wednesday, the Tokyo-based Minnano Bitcoin received a business improvement order from the agency. The exchange’s website says its English name is “Everybody’s Bitcoin Inc.”

Another Crypto Exchange Ordered to Improve by Japanese Regulator

The order follows an on-site inspection by the FSA after the exchange submitted its system risk management report to the agency. The exchange is a “deemed dealer” of cryptocurrencies, meaning it is allowed to operate while its application is being reviewed by the agency.

Another Crypto Exchange Ordered to Improve by Japanese RegulatorBased on the report and the inspection, the FSA found problems with the exchange’s “compliance with laws and regulations and proper operation of the business.” For example, the agency found that the exchange was “not performing appropriate verification at the internal audit in addition to the inadequate management and management system.” The agency further detailed:

It [the exchange] also has the problem of preventing money laundering and terrorist financing, preparing and preserving statutory books, providing appropriate information to users, [and] effective control over system risks and outsourcers.

Another Crypto Exchange Ordered to Improve by Japanese RegulatorMinnano Bitcoin has three cryptocurrencies listed on its website: bitcoin (BTC), ether (ETH), and bitcoin cash (BCH).

The exchange is a wholly owned subsidiary of the publicly listed Traders Holdings Co. Ltd. (JASDAQ:8704), which engages in foreign exchange and securities trading in Japan. In June of last year, the exchange signed a business alliance agreement with Debit Inc regarding a fund settlement service using cryptocurrency.

The content of FSA’s Order

“The following measures [are] to ensure appropriate and reliable business operation,” the FSA wrote.

Another Crypto Exchange Ordered to Improve by Japanese RegulatorThe agency ordered the exchange to improve its business in five specific ways. “Building a business management system; Establishment of a management system for money laundering and terrorist financing; Construction of bookkeeping management system; Establishment of management system related to user protection measures; Construction of system risk management system and outsourcing management system.”

The exchange must take care of these business improvement items and submit a written report to the agency by May 14.

Responding to the FSA’s order, Minnano Bitcoin apologized to its customers and stakeholders, stating:

We take this administrative punishment solemnly and sincerely, [and will] establish a posture for the proper and reliable execution of the virtual currency exchange industry, regulate the virtual currency exchange trader and recover the customer’s trust with full power.

High Turnover of Crypto Exchanges in Japan

Another Crypto Exchange Ordered to Improve by Japanese RegulatorSince the hack of Coincheck in January, the FSA has been actively inspecting and sanctioning crypto exchanges.

While only two licensed exchanges have been issued business improvement orders so far, the majority of deemed dealers have been issued the orders. Some of them have also been ordered to temporarily shut down operations while others have voluntarily withdrawn their applications.

So far, the agency has issued business improvement orders to the following crypto exchanges: Coincheck, Mr. Exchange, Bitcrements, Bit Station, FSHO, GMO Coin, Tech Bureau, Lastroots, Eternal Link, Blue Dream Japan, Bmex, and Minnano Bitcoin. Coincheck and FSHO have received two orders. Coincheck has also been acquired by a leading Japanese online brokerage firm, Monex Group.

Last month, the FSA reportedly revealed that over 100 companies were seeking licenses to operate crypto exchanges in Japan, including Line Corp which operates the popular Line Chat app. Earlier this month, Yahoo! Japan confirmed its entrance into the crypto space by acquiring a stake in a licensed crypto exchange, Bitarg.

Do you think there will be many unlicensed crypto exchanges left in Japan? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Minnano Bitcoin, and the FSA.


Need to calculate your bitcoin holdings? Check our tools section.

The post Another Crypto Exchange Ordered to Improve by Japanese Regulator appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Cryptocurrency Exchange Kraken Withdraws from Japanese Market

Cryptocurrency Exchange Kraken Withdraws from Japanese Market

Cryptocurrency exchange Kraken is suspending all of its services to Japanese residents. The exchange has been allowed to operate in Japan while its application with the country’s financial regulator is being reviewed.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

Kraken Pulling Out of Japan

Cryptocurrency Exchange Kraken Withdraws from Japanese MarketKraken announced on Tuesday the suspension of its services to Japanese residents. “The exact dates for suspending trading and funding have not yet been determined,” the exchange wrote, adding that tentatively the last day for deposits is “around mid-May,” the last day for trading is “around mid-June,” and the last day for withdrawals is “around end-June.” Kraken elaborated:

This is a localized suspension of service that only affects residents of Japan and does not impact services for Japanese citizens or businesses domiciled outside of Japan. Clients residing outside Japan who have access to our Japan banking partners will continue to have access and will still be able to trade our JPY markets.

The exchange detailed, “The decision involved careful consideration of revenue against the costs and resources required to maintain service,” noting that “suspending services for Japan residents will allow us to better focus on our resources to improve in other geographical areas.”

Residents of Japan waiting on Mtgox distributions “will still be able to withdraw the funds through their Kraken account as a one-time payment, provided that this is approved by the court,” Kraken confirmed.

Rising Costs of Doing Business in Japan

Kraken has been serving Japanese residents since October 2014. It has applied for a license with the Japanese Financial Services Agency (FSA) but has not been approved. The exchange has been allowed to operate while its application is still pending as a “deemed dealer.”

Cryptocurrency Exchange Kraken Withdraws from Japanese MarketHowever, since the hack of Coincheck, the agency has been scrutinizing all crypto exchanges and has launched on-site inspections of all deemed dealers. Initially, there were 16 deemed dealers in Japan but a growing number of them have been withdrawing their applications, citing high costs.

Kraken is the seventh crypto exchange to withdraw its application with the FSA. Others are Tokyo Gateway, Mr. Exchange, Raimu, Bitexpress, Bit Station, and Campfire.

Kraken detailed:

We deeply regret suspending this long-standing relationship and hope to resume services for Japan residents in the future…at the present time, it is impractical to continue service for Japan residents…After we have had a chance to better catch up to our rapid growth, we will consider the possibility of resuming service for Japan residents.

What do you think of Kraken pulling out of Japan? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Nikkei, and Kraken.


Need to calculate your bitcoin holdings? Check our tools section.

The post Cryptocurrency Exchange Kraken Withdraws from Japanese Market appeared first on Bitcoin News.

How Monex Plans to Revive Hacked Japanese Crypto Exchange Coincheck

How Monex Plans to Revive Hacked Japanese Crypto Exchange Coincheck

The hacked Japanese cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck has officially been acquired by one of Japan’s largest online brokerage firms. Monex Group has outlined its plans of reviving Coincheck and the risks associated with the acquisition.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

Acquisition Completed

How Monex Plans to Revive Hacked Japanese Crypto Exchange CoincheckCoincheck has officially become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Monex Group on April 16, local media reported after the leading online securities firm agreed to invest 3.6 billion yen (~US$33.55 million) in the acquisition of the exchange. Monex is among Japan’s largest online brokerage firms, whose competitors include SBI Securities, Rakuten Securities, Matsui Securities and Kabu.com.

In a press conference on Friday, Monex disclosed Coincheck’s financials for the fiscal year ending March 31. The exchange’s revenue was 980 million yen (~$9.13 million) and its net operating income was 719 million yen (~$6.7 million). Moreover, the exchange has approximately 1.7 million user accounts and 71 employees.

How Monex Plans to Revive Hacked Japanese Crypto Exchange CoincheckMonex CEO Oki Matsumoto told Coincheck’s employees, as reported by Business Insider Japan, “There are no personnel changes,” adding that Monex will respect the salaries and treatment of Coincheck’s employees and will not “change the company name or logo, and emphasizes continuity.” Citing that he believes the Japanese Financial Services Agency (FSA) will grant the new Coincheck registration “within two months,” he reiterated at the press conference:

We will restart Coincheck business within two months.

Key Executive Changes

The business improvement order issued by the FSA under the fund settlement law mandates both key executives of Coincheck, CEO Koichiro Wada and COO Yusuke Otsuka, to resign from the company’s Board of Directors.

How Monex Plans to Revive Hacked Japanese Crypto Exchange Coincheck
Former Coincheck CEO Koichiro Wada.

“While leaving is the requirement of the Financial Services Agency, Mr. Wada and Mr. Otsuka remain as executive officers,” the news outlet noted. Executive officers make day-to-day management decisions. For important matters, the Board of Directors, consisting of Monex staff, holds the decision making power.

Monex COO Toshihiko Katsuya will be appointed the new president of Coincheck while Matsumoto will also serve as the director.

Wada announced:

I and Otsuka will retire as of April 16, but I will continue to fulfill my responsibilities as an executive officer for the development of the industry and the protection of customers’ assets.

Considerable Risks

In January, Coincheck was hacked and lost 58 billion yen (~$541 million) worth of the cryptocurrency NEM, which the exchange has paid out from its own earnings, Wada detailed. However, as customers were paid in Japanese yen, some have filed lawsuits against the exchange for the return of their cryptocurrencies instead.

Refuting reports that Coincheck was “bought cheaply,” the CEO of Monex Group was quoted by Nikkei:

Coincheck is a company that is not a registrant of the FSA with litigation. From the common sense of listed companies, the acquisition is a considerable risk.

However, he further explained, “The risk of litigation has been discussed with lawyers and it ranges from 1 billion to 2 billion yen [~$18.6 million] at the most,” adding that the cost will be borne by existing shareholders and the burden of Monex will be limited.

What do you think of Monex’s plans to revive Coincheck? Do you think Coincheck will become popular again? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Monex Group, and Coincheck.


Need to calculate your bitcoin holdings? Check our tools section.

The post How Monex Plans to Revive Hacked Japanese Crypto Exchange Coincheck appeared first on Bitcoin News.