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Founded 2012
Headquarters Tokyo, Japan
Key People Koichiro Wada, Founder; Toshihiko Katsuya, President; Yusuke Otsuka
Products Cryptocurrency exchange
Twitter @coincheckjp
LinkedIn Profile
Facebook @coincheck
Website Coincheck Home
Releases Company News

Coincheck was one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world until its customer accounts were hacked in January 2018 and lost more than $500 million.[1] At the time of the hack, Coincheck claimed to be the largest bitcoin exchange in Japan.[2] Using retained profits, Coincheck reimbursed 260,000 affected account holders and was acquired by online Japanese broker Monex less than three months after the hack.[3] Monex announced on October 30, 2018 that it was inviting new accounts and that Coincheck was accepting customer deposits and withdrawals of bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum Classic (ETC), Litecoin (LTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH).[4]

Monex announced on January 11, 2019, that Coincheck had received a license from the Kanto Financial Bureau under the authority of the Japanese Government.[5] Kanto is a Japanese regional jurisdiction that includes Tokyo.


On January 26, 2018, Coincheck halted trading in all coins except bitcoin, froze withdrawals of funds, and announced that 500 million NEM, the tenth-largest cryptocurrency by market value at the time, had been illicitly removed from customer accounts.[6] The value of the loss was later pegged at $534 million.[7] The NEM Foundation, which was established to promote the use of NEM coin, traced the stolen NEM coin and said that it had provided information to law enforcement when it gave up the effort in early March 2018.[8] Jeff McDonald, then a vice president of the NEM Foundation, said that because of NEM’s architecture and advanced API, "we were able to devise a rapidly executed plan that succeeded in giving us a full account of all the stolen XEM." McDonald said the foundation had identified 10 different accounts the tokens went into and had tagged all the coins so anyone trying to buy them would know they were stolen from Coincheck and should not be purchased.[9]

Two days after the hack, Coincheck announced that it would reimburse the 260,000 accounts that had lost NEM coin.[10] On February 12 2018, Coincheck began to unfreeze customers funds when $373 million were withdrawn. [11] On March 12, 2018, Coincheck said it would reimburse in Japanese yen all holders of NEM coin stolen in the hack at the rate of 88.549 JPY per NEM.[12]

At the time of the security breach, Coincheck had not yet been granted a license to operate a cryptocurrency exchange by Japan's Financial Services Agency. The Agency had already issued Coincheck two orders to improve its operations. After public discussions of the possibility earlier in the same week,[13] Monex, the third-largest online Japanese broker by number of accounts, announced its intention to purchase Coincheck on April 6 for $34 million.[14] Monex completed its purchase of Coincheck on April 16, 2018, and shortly thereafter reported that in the 10 months before the hack Coincheck had earned approximately $60 million more than the reimbursements were costing it. Monex appeared optimistic that with its backing, Coincheck would be able to secure its cryptocurrency license from the Financial Services Agency.[15]

On August 30, 2019, Coincheck said in a blog post that the exchange would be reducing its leveraged trading options from 25 to 20 percent, in order to comply with local trading rules put forward by the JVCEA.[16]