Embattled cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck may soon be under new management.
The Tokyo-based exchange, now enshrined in infamy following a $530 million hack in January, will reportedly be acquired by Japanese brokerage firm Monex in a deal worth “several billion yen.”
The news was first reported by regional media outlet Nikkei, whose sources said that Monex would likely replace the current management team — who oversaw the exchange at the time of the record-setting theft — and overhaul the cryptocurrency exchange trading platform.
“We are considering the acquisition,” Monex announced in a statement, adding that plans have not been finalized.
Monex stock soared in response to the rumors, closing at 424 JPY after opening at 337 JPY — a single-day gain in excess of 25 percent.
As BlockExplorer reported, Coincheck’s security measures were found in the wake of the hack to be woefully inadequate, which explains why the hackers were able to make off with such a large amount of funds.
The country’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) ordered Coincheck and several other exchanges to enhance their systems to comply with FSA regulations, but some platform operators have found these improvement orders to be more than they can manage.
“The deal with Monex suggests Coincheck deemed it difficult to comply with the regulatory requirements and rebuild its operations without external support,” the Nikkei report said.
At least five Japanese cryptocurrency exchanges have already informed the FSA that they will cease operations, while the agency has reportedly told several others that they must voluntarily shut down or face enforcement action.
Despite the gravity of the hack, Coincheck does not appear to have been insolvent. The company has already begun compensating users who lost funds during the hack, at a rate of approximately 89 JPY per NEM token (XEM). Though somewhat less than market value at the time of the hack, this is more than triple the current NEM price.
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