Coincheck, in an official press release, announced today that it had “registered with the Kanto Financial Bureau as a cryptocurrency exchange agency in accordance with the Payment Service Act, effective January 11, 2019.”
This news comes nearly a year after Coincheck, a crypto trading exchange, which was awaiting a license of approval from the Financial Services Agency (FSA), was hacked and lost New Economy Movement (NEM) tokens worth $530 million.
After the hack in January 2018, the FSA did not approve a single exchange operator throughout the year. Japan’s regulatory watchdog also found major security problems among the majority of the exchange operators in the country and most of them spent the last year trying to make their systems more robust and less likely to fall victim to crypto-hacks.
Coincheck had to start building the blocks of their trading platform yet again which required a major overhaul of the exchange, which came in April 2018, when they accepted a takeover bid from Japanese online brokerage Monex. The exchange was acquired by Monex for a trifling sum of $33.5 million.
The takeover brought with it changes taking places in everywhere department of the firm.
Firstly, the most senior figures in Coincheck management of that time, Yusuke Otsuka, the founding president and chief operating officer, was a replaced by a Monex employee. This was followed by the stepping down of founder and chief executive officer of Coincheck, Koichiro Wada.
The current president Coincheck, Toshihiko Katsuya, has overseen the transition period, during which Coincheck has slowly eased back onto crypto scene besides organizing refunds for investors to compensate for stolen coins.
Secondly, Coincheck delisted privacy coins like Dash, ZCash and Monero from its platform. This was done in order to for the firm to achieve and maintain compliance ‘with Anti-Money Laundering regulations’.
The FSA on Friday gave the final seal of approval to Coincheck to continue operations at the exchange and expecting it to continuously develop and maintain its internal security level.
Pina Hirano, who heads the Blockchain Collaborative Consortium, a Tokyo-based organization promoting the use of blockchain, said:
“Only those companies that can meet the standards and follow regulations will be eligible to run crypto-exchange businesses … we will see more responsible firms entering the market this year, which will energize the industry.”