DEC 30, 2023
Japan’s Monex acquires majority stake in Canadian crypto firm
Monex Group, a well-known securities broker in Japan’s financial services sector, is delving further into the digital currency space through the acquisition of a majority stake in 3iQ Digital Holdings, a Canadian crypto asset management company.
Whilst the acquisition was announced via a joint press release on Thursday, the specific details of the deal were not disclosed.
Achieving growth through crypto
Yuko Seimei, the CEO of Monex Group, emphasized the long-term strategy of strengthening their asset management business. By incorporating 3iQ into their portfolio, the aim is to achieve substantial growth by catering to the evolving crypto asset management needs of institutional investors and crypto exchanges globally.
Monex Group is already a key player in the Japanese crypto landscape, owning the Coincheck exchange. Coincheck is Japan’s largest cryptocurrency exchange. It has regained market dominance after a cyber attack resulting in the theft of $534 million in digital assets in 2018. Monex collaborated with Japanese telecommunications firm NTT DOCOMO in October, forming Monex Securities as a holding company containing Coincheck, while selling NTT DOCOMO a 49% stake.
The acquisition of 3iQ marks Monex’s strategic move to extend its exposure to the North American crypto industry. This adds to the conglomerate’s existing presence in the United States through the ownership and operation of TradeStation, an American brokerage firm.
3iQ, operating under a Canadian license, has come to prominence in the crypto-sphere for launching two exchange-traded funds (ETFs) in Canada. Notably, it introduced Bitcoin and Ethereum ETFs on the Toronto Stock Exchange, showcasing innovation in a region where regulatory approval is awaited by U.S.-based companies.
Spot bitcoin ETFs have been hotly tipped to offer the next form of crypto adoption, potentially facilitating the in-flow of massive amounts of money currently within the domain of traditional finance. While the focus has been largely on the United States in that regard, other centers such as Hong Kong are similarly gearing up towards offering spot ETF crypto products to both institutions and retail investors.
Amid that background, this acquisition by Monex didn’t go unnoticed by ETF sector professionals. Bloomberg Intelligence ETF Research Analyst James Seyffart took to social media platform X on Thursday to draw attention to the deal.
Frederick Pye, the Chairman and CEO of 3iQ, expressed enthusiasm about joining forces with Monex Group. With Monex already owning Coincheck, a crypto exchange powerhouse in Japan, Pye highlighted the potential synergy. The collaboration is seen as an opportunity to enhance Coincheck’s offerings, particularly for institutional investors. Pye characterized the partnership as a groundbreaking collaboration that promises to reshape the crypto industry.
Monex’s acquisition of 3iQ is aligned with its broader vision of being a key player in the global crypto asset management landscape. The move not only expands their reach into North America but also positions them to capitalize on the growing demands of institutional investors in the evolving digital currency market.