In 1999 former Goldman Sachs investment banker Oki Matsumoto launched an online brokerage with some clear goals in mind: to create an ideal future for personal finance and to encourage Japanese who are hoarding their savings to actively invest.

The startup was called Monex, a name that was coined by replacing the y in money with x to emphasize its future, since x precedes y in the alphabet.

Some 19 years on, Matsumoto is still pursuing those goals, a mission that led him to make the surprising decision in April to buy Coincheck Inc., the troubled Tokyo cryptocurrency exchange that was robbed by hackers earlier this year.