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Monex Group considers adding cryptocurrencies amid growing competition

Thu, 18 Apr 2019, 11:50 am UTC

Japanese online brokerage Monex Group is considering adding cryptocurrencies to its offerings for retail clients, Bloomberg reported April 16.

The move comes in the wake of growing competition from rivals such as SBI Holdings and Rakuten, which are attracting new clients via their various business lines. Both SBI and Rakuten have ventured into the crypto space with VCTRADE and Rakuten Wallet respectively.

Established in 1999, Monex Group was once the largest online brokerage in Japan. However, the position diluted over the years as SBI and Rakuten solidified their position. Nomura is also gearing up to roll out an online brokerage with messaging giant Line Corp.

In a clarification on its consolidated net profit posted today, Monex Group said that in the consolidated financial results for the third quarter of the fiscal year ending March 2019, the quarterly profit attributable to its owners showed a decrease of 42% from the previous fiscal year. It added, “The Company continues to face the tough and challenging business environment.”

“We’ve fallen a little behind -- we can’t deny that,” Yuko Seimei, Monex Securities Inc.’s new president, said in a statement. “If we keep doing things the way we have, we may not be able to close the gap.”

As such, the company’s brokerage unit is planning to add cryptocurrencies to its offerings for retail clients in collaboration with Coincheck, which it acquired last year.

Coincheck, which suffered a major $530 million hack last January, resumed its operations in the final quarter of 2018. It recently launched an over-the-counter (OTC) platform for large-scale investors, which supports Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH) and XRP.

In January 2019, TradeStation, an online brokerage acquired by Monex Group in 2011, announced plans to enter the crypto space through its subsidiary, TradeStation Crypto. The new unit aims to offer cryptocurrency brokerage services, subject to completing all business launch requirements and obtaining applicable licenses.

Earlier this month, TradeStation signed an agreement with trading software provider Deltix to allow its crypto subsidiary to utilize the institutional crypto-trading platform CryptoCortex, provided by Deltix, for the launch of the TradeStation Crypto offering.

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