• JIJI, Kyodo

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Major Japanese online brokerage Monex Group Inc. is working to buy Tokyo-based cryptocurrency exchange operator Coincheck Inc. for several billion yen, sources said Tuesday.

Monex aims to enter the virtual currency business by acquiring Coincheck, which was hit by a massive hack in January that stole cryptocurrency NEM worth ¥58 billion at the time. Coincheck still holds a customer base that is one of the largest among cryptocurrency exchanges in Japan.

The two firms are expected to announce a deal this week, sources familiar with the matter also said.

Monex aims to rebuild Coincheck’s business after inheriting its customer base and expertise in the field, the sources said.

In a statement Tuesday, Monex said it is considering acquiring Coincheck but nothing has been decided.

Coincheck founder and President Koichiro Wada is expected to step down following the envisaged acquisition by Monex.

The Financial Services Agency has twice issued business improvement orders to Coincheck since the hack, demanding that it drastically revamp its management.

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