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Morning News: Coincheck Sale ‘Imminent,’ Gaming Co ‘to Launch ICO’

Tim Alper
Last updated: | 3 min read

Coincheck Sale ‘Close’ as Regulator Prepares Fresh Sanctions for Exchanges Court Hands Out Five-year Jail Term to Fraudster Gaming Company Set to Launch ICO Survey: ‘14% of Professional Japanese Males Aged 25-30 Have Crypto’

Catch up on the most essential cryptocurrency and blockchain news stories breaking in Asia and the Americas while the rest of the world was asleep.

Coincheck Sale ‘Close’ as Regulator Prepares Fresh Sanctions for Exchanges
A major shakeup is ahead for Japanese exchange platforms in the second half of this week, say media outlets such as Nikkei and Mainichi. As reported earlier on, brokerage Monex Group was yesterday said to be considering the purchase of a controlling stake in beleaguered cryptocurrency exchange platform Coincheck. However, Nikkei now suggests the deal may be closer than first thought, and could be finalized “by the end of the week.” Media reports also claim Japan’s regulatory Financial Services Agency (FSA) could this week issue further business improvement or suspension orders to the country’s exchanges. The FSA has been scrutinizing exchanges’ security networks and customer support systems in the wake of a massive hack on Coincheck wallets in January. Nikkei also reports that energy management company Remixpoint is poised to sell 20% of its holdings in the Bitpoint exchange to Madison Holdings for USD 47 million. Madison is a Hong Kong-based holding company whose shareholders include major Chinese banks.

S Korean Gaming Company HanbitSoft Set to Launch ICO
Another South Korean gaming company looks set to move into the world of cryptocurrencies, following the likes of NetMarble. Media outlet Sisa Week reports that HanbitSoft has now officially cemented plans for the launch of an ICO for its Bryllite Coin (BRC), confirming rumors that circulated last month about a possible launch via a Hong Kong subsidy. The company first made a name for itself in the 2000s, when it spearheaded the country’s e-sports movement, distributing the Korean version of Blizzard title StarCraft. HanbitSoft says its new currency will allow for in-game and inter-game purchases in its titles and those of its partners. The company is hoping to attract a range of game developers to its new blockchain platform, also named Bryllite. HanbitSoft will hold a pre-sale event from June 16 to June 30, with a public sale following in July. The development is HanbitSoft’s second major crypto move of the year, and comes three months after the gaming heavyweight made a significant investment in forthcoming cryptocurrency exchange platform Coin Zest.

S Korean Court Hands Out Five-year Jail Term to Crypto Fraudster
A judge has handed a five-year prison sentence to a 59-year-old man convicted of running a USD 148 million pyramid scheme for a bogus cryptocurrency. The man, whose identity was protected by the court, ran a fake Initial Coin Offering (ICO) for a token called Hedge Bitcoin, and amassed the funds between October 2015 and October 2016. The court, in Suwon, near Seoul, heard the man told victims that should they make investments of as little as USD 1,200, they could expect to double their stakes in anywhere between six to seven months – but that would hold out on paying out until he “could bring in enough investors.” The judge said that the convicted man’s victims were also partly to blame for their own fates.

Survey: ‘14% of Professional Japanese Males Aged 25-30 Have Crypto Holdings’
An online survey of young male professionals in Japan, hosted by media outlet R25, has delivered some surprising insights into the demographic’s stance on cryptocurrencies. Per the survey results, 14% of Japanese men in office jobs aged 25-30 have cryptocurrency holdings, with 28% describing themselves as first-time investors. More than 90% of respondents with cryptocurrency assets said they had purchased tokens as “investments for the future.” Some 37% said they had bought cryptocurrencies to “keep up with modern trends,” while around 20% said they had made purchases because of recommendations from friends or media personalities. Over a third of investors said their holdings were worth USD 470 or less.