The price of Bitcoin has seen a roughly 5% bump in the last day, and the cause appears to be a potential rescue for the hacked cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck—from financial services company Monex.
Hackers stole over $520 million worth of NEM cryptocurrency from Tokyo-based Coincheck in January, in the largest-ever breach in the space. Some suggested that North Korea might have been behind the theft.
On Tuesday, Nikkei reported that Monex Group, also based in Tokyo, was “offering to take over Coincheck.” It said the deal, which would give Monex a way into the cryptocurrency exchange business, could be formally announced this week.
Monex itself then issued a statement in which it confirmed “we have been considering the acquisition of the cryptocurrency firm mentioned in the report today but have not made any decision yet.”
“Moving forward, should there be facts determined by Monex Group, Inc. that need to be disclosed, we will do so in a timely and appropriate manner,” the company said.
Monex (MNXBY, +46.61%) noted that it had recently been ramping up its experiments with blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies. “As part of our efforts, we set up the Monex Cryptocurrency Lab in January this year, and have also been considering the secure and socially responsible cryptocurrency (crypto-assets) business,” it said.
Japan’s Financial Services Agency told Coincheck to get its systems in order after the hack—the exchange had been storing customer assets in an internet-connected “hot wallet,” which is something of a security no-no. The regulator also told Coincheck to implement anti-money-laundering measures.
According to Nikkei, the cost of implementing these changes may have led Coincheck to look for outside support. The publication said the deal would see Coincheck founding president Koichiro Wada and chief operating officer Yusuke Otsuka step down.
The price of one Bitcoin was $7,417 at the time of writing on Tuesday morning.