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Online Brokerage Monex Group Voices Interest in FTX Japan

Online broker Monex Group expressed its interest in FTX’s Japanese subsidiary known as FTX Japan, according to Bloomberg. Monex Group’s CEO said he sees potential in the Japanese market, where companies could soon start buying digital coins as investments and use NFTs for marketing.

Monex Sees Potential in Japan’s Crypto Market

Tokyo-based online brokerage Monex Group is interested in acquiring FTX Japan, the Japanese subsidiary of the collapsed crypto exchange FTX, Bloomberg reported on Monday. “Generally speaking, we naturally are interested,” said Monex’s CEO Oki Matsumoto, though the brokerage has not yet placed a bid for the FTX’s unit.

FTX Japan is being auctioned as part of FTX’s bankruptcy process in the US “for the sprawling group of companies,” the Bloomberg report says. Around 41 parties are interested in the business, 25 of which have entered into confidential agreements with debtors, according to a court filing.

Matsumoto sees potential in Japan’s crypto market, saying companies may start purchasing digital coins as investments and utilize non-fungible tokens (NFTs) for marketing. He wants Monex to take advantage of those opportunities and become one of the “few choices” for Japanese consumers when that day comes. Japanese regulators said last year they plan to ease listing rules for virtual coins to lure more crypto startups.

A potential bid for FTX’s subsidiary would mark another expansionary effort by the Japanese online brokerage, which has been foraying into new business areas worldwide. In 2018, the group acquired Coincheck, the crypto exchange that collapsed following a $534m hack. Monex plans to make Coincheck public by listing it on the Nasdaq Exchange.

FTX Japan to Let Users Withdraw Funds in February

Matsumoto’s remarks about Monex Group’s interest in FTX Japan come less than a year after the business was acquired by FTX for an undisclosed sum. FTX Japan was previously known as Liquid, a Japanese crypto exchange offering both spot and derivatives trading services.

The unit held roughly 17.8 billion yen ($139 million) in cash and deposits as of Nov. 21, as well as around 10 billion in net assets at the end of September. The company is expected to allow customers to withdraw funds next month.

“We have been in close communication with FTX Japan.”

– Mamoru Yanase, deputy director-general of the Financial Services Agency’s Strategy Development and Management Bureau.

If the users can withdraw their funds as planned, it would mark a unique example of investors recovering their funds following the FTX debacle in November 2022. This is not the case for FTX’s businesses in other countries where the process remains uncertain.

At a hearing last week, Judge John Dorsey ruled that the names of up to 9 million FTX creditors are to remain sealed and undisclosed for at least three months. The judge also indicated that he might change his decision later.

This article originally appeared on The Tokenist

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