Japanese crypto exchange Coincheck will list on the Nasdaq exchange through a $1.25 billion merger with a blank cheque company operated by Thunder Bridge Capital Partners. The deal was announced in a press release by Thunder Bridge.
Coincheck, which was bought by Japanese asset manager Monex Group in 2018, is one of Japan’s largest crypto exchanges. The exchange is somewhat infamous for being the subject of the most expensive crypto hack, which saw over $500 million stolen in 2018.
A blank cheque company is a firm that is listed with the sole purpose of merging with another company to help the latter publicly list its shares without an initial public offering. Thunder Bridge operates several of these firms.
Monex to retain majority stake in Coincheck
Coincheck’s parent Monex, which currently holds 94.2% of the exchange, will hold roughly 82% of the combined firm. The deal is expected to be completed in the second half of the year, Thunder Bridge said.
While the merged firm, named Coincheck Group NV, will be registered in the Netherlands, most of Coincheck’s operations and staff will be headquartered in Tokyo. The firm will also retain its current President, Satoshi Hasuo.
Oki Matsumoto, Chairman of Monex Group, will serve as the new company’s Chair, while Thunder Bridge head Gary Simanson will be its CEO.
Deal comes as Japanese crypto interest booms
Japan, which is already a major player in the crypto market, is set to relax regulations and increase crypto adoption in the country.
The Japan Virtual Currency Exchange Association is set to release a “green list” that will make listing virtual tokens substantially easier- which is good news for the country’s $1 trillion-plus crypto industry.
This comes even as Japan holds some of the strictest laws on crypto assets in the world, which subjects prospective companies to intense scrutiny.
But this has not stopped several major Japanese firms from venturing into the crypto market. Financial giant Nomura recently unveiled a unit to focus on digital assets, while e-commerce major Rakuten launched its own NFT marketplace.
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