Japanese bitcoin exchange Coincheck has launched an investment program to help startups that are engaged in digital currency business or are running an Initial Coin Offering (ICO). In addition to funding of about 50 million yen per case, the exchange will provide them with “development, technology and legal know-how” advice and other support services.
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Coincheck Investment Program
One of the largest Japanese bitcoin exchanges, Coincheck, announced on Thursday the launch of an investment program to use its own accumulated funds to invest in startups. The amounts and durations of the investments have not been announced, but the exchange wrote that it is likely to be “about 50 million yen [approximately $450,000] per case,” depending on the investment.
Established in 2012, Coincheck currently employs 71 people and has a capital of 92 million yen. The exchange is a member of the Japan Blockchain Association as well as Japan Cryptocurrency Business Association. Coincheck is profitable with revenue from four sources; trading fees, margin leverage fees, the spread, and the 1% commission from vendors for its merchant service.
Program Purpose and Targets
The exchange plans to grow the cryptocurrency and blockchain markets by forming partnerships with other players including service providers, developers, and users. Coincheck stated that its new investment program is aimed at companies or individuals that:
- develop and provide services using blockchain technology
- develop and provide digital currency services
- are planning or considering initial coin offerings (ICOs), or
- develop and provide fintech related services
The overall purpose of this program is to increase the use of digital currency and blockchains, COO and co-founder Yusuke Otsuka told Techcrunch Japan, adding that the increase of digital currency use cases will lead to the expansion of Coincheck’s exchange business. The company asserted (loosely translated):
When starting a [digital currency or blockchain] business, a high learning cost becomes a barrier to entry that makes it difficult for blockchain and virtual currency businesses to launch.
Support Services Included
In addition to monetary support, Coincheck explained on its blog that the new program offers advice on development and technology, human resources development, business management and related laws among other areas.
“We provide development, technology and legal know-how on currency,” the exchange described, adding that by offering these support services, it will help startups at the early launch stage. This will lead to an earlier expansion of the digital currency and blockchain market, Coincheck detailed.