Japanese financial services firm Monex — the company behind crypto exchange Coincheck — announced that it will give Bitcoin (BTC) to its shareholders as a year-end benefit for 2019.

According to an announcement on March 23, Monex plans to give to its shareholders 500 yen worth ($4.53) to those who hold the firm’s shares as of March 31 as a year-end benefit for 2019 in addition to existing shareholder benefit. The company will give the Bitcoin to those shareholders who hold an account on cryptocurrency wallet Coincheck. The announcement suggests that this may be a one-time event:

“Please note that it has yet to be determined whether granting the cryptocurrency BTC as a part of shareholder benefits will continue for the fiscal year 2020 and after.”

Monex Group is a publicly-traded financial services firm founded in 1999 which — according to its website — wishes to “create the future of finance.” Company data platform Owler shows that the firm has an annual revenue of $721.1 million and 833 employees.

The initiative is seemingly a way to get the firm’s stakeholders more involved with cryptocurrencies. 

Interest in Bitcoin increasing again

Interestingly, the coronavirus quarantine also seems to be increasing interest in Bitcoin. According to Binance.US CEO Catherine Coley, crypto trading volume in Asia increased as people remained indoors to avoid the virus.

Coley said that cryptocurrency markets are based on “technology that we can trade on 24/7, regardless of our environment,” which makes them resistant to “supply chain problems that we are seeing from national traded stock.”

Another positive sign is that both Chinese search engine Baidu and its western counterpart Google report that the public is showing an increased interest in purchasing Bitcoin.