CEO Who Bought Coincheck After $500 Mln Hack: Crypto is Future of Finance
Oki Matsumoto, former Goldman Sachs executive and the CEO of Monex, who acquired major Japanese crypto exchange Japan for just over $34 million, has said in a recent interview that crypto is the future of finance.
In April, Matsumoto and his team at Monex purchased Coincheck, after the exchange experienced a $500 million hacking attack in early 2018. At the time, Coincheck was criticized for its inability to recruit competent security experts and implement necessary security measures to protect user funds.
In the press conference subsequent to the hack, the former executive team of Coincheck failed to acknowledge that the exchange did in fact have poor security and internal management systems in place, despite the comments of the NEM development team, creators of the XEM cryptocurrency which Coincheck lost in its security breach, that Coincheck’s security was extremely poor.
Consequently, investors in the cryptocurrency sector of Japan reacted negatively to the decision of Matsumoto to acquire the hacked exchange.
In a recent interview with The Japan Times, Matsumoto firmly stated that his team has always believed cryptocurrencies will compete against reserve currencies and the existing global financial system. As a bold bet against the traditional finance market, Matsumoto said that he took over Coincheck acknowledging the potential of digital assets.
“The potential of cryptocurrencies and crypto-assets is really huge. It’s possible to manage risks, but it’s no easy job to create a user base with the size and brand value Coincheck has established. We believe we can create a new type of global cyberspace-comprehensive financial service company for global retail customers,” Matsumoto said.
Why is Matsumoto Optimistic About Crypto?
Throughout 2018, especially in Japan, cryptocurrency exchanges have noticed a clear trend of talents leaving the traditional finance sector for crypt-related businesses, even if it required lower paychecks and reduced perks.
In the past several months, executives and traders from Goldman Sachs, BBVA, and Barclays have left the financial market to work with Japanese cryptocurrency trading platforms such as bitFlyer.
While the trend of talents moving into the blockchain sector is evident, Matsumoto said that the real task is in convincing the majority of investors in Japan, who remain indifferent about investing. He explained that the Japanese government has always encouraged people to increase their savings primarily for economic growth, leading the population to become more conservative with investments.
However, Matsumoto emphasized that the mindset of people change frequently, a claim that is supported by the unforeseen emergence of Japan as the leading cryptocurrency exchange market.
“It’s like chasing a mirage. People’s mindsets are always changing, so however we change, customers, environments, technologies and societies, they are moving as well, he added.
Regulation Requires More Work
Since the bankruptcy of Mt. Gox, formerly the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, the Japanese government has employed a forward-thinking approach in regulating the crypto market, becoming the first authority to introduce a national licensing program for digital asset trading platforms.
Still, in regards to taxation and investor protection, Matsumoto said that the Japanese government needs to clarify its stance, for the benefit of local investors. He said:
“The nation should seriously think about how it treats cryptocurrencies, not only from a regulation point of view, but also a tax treatment point of view.”
Generally, Matsumoto remains optimistic in the long-term trend of cryptocurrencies and confident that eventually, the majority of the population in Japan will become more open-minded and free-spirited when it comes to investments.