Japanese Online Brokerage Monex Sees Cryptocurrency As Key For Survival

News | April 19, 2019 By:

Japan-based Monex Group, which operates retail brokerages TradeStation, Monex, Boom Hong Kong, and crypto exchange Coincheck, is planning to add cryptocurrencies to its offerings for retail clients.

Established in 1999, Monex is one of Japan’s largest online brokerages. Currently valued at around $870 million, the firm has a wide portfolio of assets focused on providing services mainly to retail clients. Last year, it acquired Coincheck, a Japanese crypto exchange that lost over $400 million worth of customers’ XEM tokens in a breach uncovered in January 2018, for 3.6 billion yen ($33.6M USD).

In an interview Bloomberg, Yuko Seimei, Monex Securities Inc.’s new president, said that they will be collaborating with Coincheck, which obtained a license from Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) earlier this year, to allow retail investors to buy cryptocurrencies on their platform.

“We’ve fallen a little behind — we can’t deny that,” said Seimei, referring to an increase in market share of competitors including SBI Holdings and Rakuten. “If we keep doing things the way we have, we may not be able to close the gap.”

SBI and Rakuten, who have both ventured into the crypto space with VCTRADE and Rakuten Wallet, respectively, command 36.3 percent and 18.7 percent of the Japanese digital brokerage market, compared Monex’s 5.1 percent.

“Making the most of their various business lines is one reason why SBI and Rakuten have attracted new customers,” said Seimei. “Rakuten’s brokerage, for example, allows consumers to use points awarded through purchases at the group’s Internet shopping sites to invest in stocks.”

Seimei believes that the addition of cryptocurrency on their platform would unlock a huge new user base for Monex, and help close the gap on its rivals.