LINE, one of the biggest messaging apps, revealed its plans to run its own cryptocurrency exchange platform. Slated to launch in July, BITBOX will support trading between Bitcoin and 30 more coins.
However, customers won’t be able to exchange fiats (USD, EUR etc.) into cryptos. The platform will allow only crypto-to-crypto exchange. The company underlines its security in cryptocurrency trading as main feature of the platform. It will support bitcoins and emerging altcoins.
At launch, platform will be available in 15 languages, but Japanese and Thai are not included despite LINE’s and BITBOX’ Japanese origins. Moreover, LINE is the largest messenger in Japan, it is used by 70 M people only in its own country. It is popular in other Asia as well, and in Thailand among others.
As mentioned above, 30 coins will be available for trading when the platform is on the run. The coins listing, which include Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin, has been developed by company’s committee of experts. Users’ transactions will not be commissioned for a month after launch, but the exchange will charge 0.1% after that period.
Still, not only Japanese people will not be allowed to use the platform, but any Japanese nationals in any country of the world and also US residents. Although LINE had applied to register a cryptocurrency, and this move was yet to be approved by main financial regulator in Japan – Financial Services Agency (FSA). Despite that, LINE did not want to put the whole operation at risk, considering regulatory restrictions on cryptos in the US and Japan.
The launch of the BITBOX is only the beginning of a wider financial strategy. The company has launched its financial subsidiary called LINE Financial. Before that, LINE has also developed LINE Pay – a payment service embedded into its messenger. LINE Pay held transactions worth of $4.1 billion in 2017, having as many as 40 million registered users globally.
Along with that, LINE is becoming a big player among financial companies on the growing Japanese market, whose list includes Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG), SBI, Yahoo! Japan and others.