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NTT DOCOMO buys 49% of Monex, Coincheck Japan’s largest crypto exchange

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Today Monex, a securities broker, announced a collaboration with Japanese mobile telecoms firm NTT DOCOMO. A new holding group will be created for Monex Securities, with Monex Group retaining a 51% stake and NTT DOCOMO acquiring the balance for around Yen 46 billion ($313m). Monex owns Coincheck, Japan’s largest cryptocurrency exchange. Monex Securities also plans to issue security tokens as it expands into asset management.

The Coincheck crypto exchange plans to list on Nasdaq via a SPAC, but recently the timeline was postponed by a year. Coincheck was barely mentioned in today’s announcement. Hence, it seems it is not the primary target of this transaction.

That said, last year NTT DOCOMO announced plans to invest as much as $4 billion in web3. However, NTT Docomo’s stated objective from the Monex deal is to add more financial services to its d-Barai mobile wallet. That’s a smart strategy, as the wallet will become the central hub for all financial assets.

Monex is an online securities broker with 2.2 million customers (1.3m active) and wants to shift its strategy from brokerage to asset management. As part of that plan, it aims to launch security tokens, with NTT DOCOMO providing an even bigger target audience – the telecoms firm boasts a 36% market share of mobile subscribers in Japan.

We recently reported that Mitsui & Co Digital Asset Management is pursuing a direct asset management approach. It tokenizes real estate and sells the tokens directly to the public. Instead of working with brokers, it has partnered with online platform Sony Bank and a major in-store card provider. These act as introducers, leaving a direct relationship with Mitsui.

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