Bitcoin rose approximately 5% on news of a potential rescue for hacked cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck by financial services company Monex.

Tokyo-based Coincheck suffered when hackers stole over US$520 million worth of NEM cryptocurrency from in January, the largest-ever breach in the space. Some suggested that North Korea might have been behind the theft.

Monex Group, also based in Tokyo, is now reported to be “offering to take over Coincheck.” Japanese index Nikke said the deal, which would give Monex a way into the cryptocurrency exchange business, could be formally announced this week.

Monex itself has issued a statement in which it confirmed “we have been considering the acquisition of the cryptocurrency firm mentioned in the report today but have not made any decision yet.”

“Moving forward, should there be facts determined by Monex Group, Inc. that need to be disclosed, we will do so in a timely and appropriate manner,” the company said.

Prior to the hack, Coincheck had been storing customer assets in an internet-connected “hot wallet,” which resulted in Japan’s Financial Services Agency telling the exchange to get its systems in order. The regulator also told Coincheck to implement anti-money-laundering measures.

According to Nikkei, the cost of implementing these changes may have led Coincheck to look for outside support. The publication said the deal would see Coincheck founding president Koichiro Wada and chief operating officer Yusuke Otsuka step down.

Monex has recently been ramping up its experiments with blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies. “As part of our efforts, we set up the Monex Cryptocurrency Lab in January this year, and have also been considering the secure and socially responsible cryptocurrency (crypto-assets) business,” it said.


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