Japanese Chat App Juggernaut Line Set to Launch Crypto Exchange
Line, the second-largest chat messaging app in Southeast Asia and the most popular chat service in Japan, announced the impending launch of a new cryptocurrency exchange called BitBox.
The new exchange, scheduled to go live in July 2018, follows an announcement issued in January by the chat giant heralding the creation of a new financial division aimed at the cryptocurrency market. The BitBox Line cryptocurrency exchange will launch as a purely crypto-only exchange, and won’t offer any crypto to fiat pairings at launch.
BitBox to List Multiple Cryptos
Line revealed the new exchange platform in an official statement published on June 28, notably highlighting the fact that BitBox will not be available to users in the US or Japan:
“Cryptocurrency exchange BITBOX is launching as part of LINE’s financial services business, providing services globally except in Japan and the U.S. 30 or more cryptocurrencies can be exchanged in BITBOX, and it will support 15 languages excluding Japanese. BITBOX only allows the exchange of cryptocurrencies, and does not accept exchange between fiat money and cryptocurrencies.”
The new exchange will support over 30 cryptocurrencies at launch, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, and Litecoin, in a similar manner to Coinbase. Line states that cryptocurrencies selected for listing on the BitBox platform were chosen through a rigorous review by a listing committee composed of experts.
Line also announced an “opening commemorative campaign” offering new users zero commission trading for one month from launch.
Line Exchange Set to Expose Millions to Crypto
Line currently boasts over 200 million active users and offers services including on-demand taxis, delivery services, mobile payment solutions, and music streaming. While Line does hold a significant user base in Southeast Asia — especially Thailand, where it dominates over 90% of all mobile chat apps — it’s unlikely that Japan-based Line users will benefit from BitBox.
Line has yet to announce whether the new trading platform will obtain a license from the Japanese Financial Services Agency, stating:
“The application process for registration as a virtual currency exchanger has already been started with the Financial Services Agency [FSA], and it is currently under review.”
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