Japan’s Popular Messaging App LINE To Launch Its Bitbox Cryptocurrency Exchange This July

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by Bhushan Akolkar · 3 min read
Japan’s Popular Messaging App LINE To Launch Its Bitbox Cryptocurrency Exchange This July
Photo: LINE

The Bitbox cryptocurrency exchange will be available to global customers except for the residents of Japan and the U.S due to growing regulatory involvement.

According to the official announcement made on Thursday, June 28, Japan’s popular messaging app LINE is all set to launch its own cryptocurrency exchange Bitbox, next month in July. LINE, which currently offers services to more than 200 million users on its platform, says that the Bitbox will be based out of Singapore owing to the ongoing regulatory compulsions in Japan and the U.S.

From the very time of its launch, the Bitbox cryptocurrency exchange will allow customers to trade over thirty top-most digital currencies at a nominal fee of just 0.1%. This, of course, includes some of the most popular digital currencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash and others. LINE says that the list was chosen “through a rigorous review by a listing committee composed of experts.”

Unfortunately, in the announcement LINE said that it won’t be available to the residents in the U.S and Japan. This is because of the harsher and stricter regulations recently imposed by the Japanese regulatory watchdog – Financial Service Agency (FSA), LINE was unable to secure the required license in order to offer their services in Japan. The same issues go for the U.S customers. However, LINE is quite aware of the fact that it will be missing out on business from the two most dominated markets in the cryptocurrency space.

Another important part of this announcement is that LINE won’t be supporting any type of fiat-to-crypto transactions and will allow customers to trade only in crypto-to-crypto. In its official announcement, the messaging giant writes:

“[The] 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.”

Further adding:

“With the need to trade cryptocurrencies rising around the world, LINE has been preparing to provide opportunities for users to do so securely, and as the secure system is in place now, the company will be offering the service.”

The image included in its press release also shows a minimalistic cryptocurrency trading app with several other features just like any professional trading app would offer. Having a deep expertise in the “app market” LINE can certainly leverage on the mobile cryptocurrency trading industry which has witnessed a very slow development so far. Bitbox can certainly flex its muscles and prove to be a forerunner in this game.

Amid the growing involvement of the regulatory body in the crypto space, LINE has expressed some hope saying that it is taking all efforts to get an official license from the FSA.

In a statement, the company said:

“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,”

The company said that it still would make an impact in the cryptocurrency space by stating:

“LINE will continue to transform all users’ financial experience by providing friendly and innovative financial services to close the distance between people and money. As the society heads toward cashless and wallet-less future, LINE will be actively involved in undertaking initiatives and creating systems to accelerate the development of its businesses and reinforce its services as it strives to become a leader in the FinTech business.”

However, there has been a mixed reaction from the cryptocurrency community concerning LINE joining this space. Some are happy with the decision while others have expressed discontent that it won’t be supporting fiat-to-crypto transactions.

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Bhushan Akolkar

Bhushan is a FinTech enthusiast and holds a good flair in understanding financial markets. His interest in economics and finance draw his attention towards the new emerging Blockchain Technology and Cryptocurrency markets. He is continuously in a learning process and keeps himself motivated by sharing his acquired knowledge. In free time he reads thriller fictions novels and sometimes explore his culinary skills.

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