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Messaging Giant LINE’s Cryptocurrency Exchange Begins Global Operations

Last Updated March 4, 2021 4:03 PM
Samburaj Das
Last Updated March 4, 2021 4:03 PM

Japanese mobile giant LINE has officially launched operations of its Singapore-based cryptocurrency exchange BITBOX with support for 30 cryptocurrencies including bitcoin.

With an announcement  on Tuesday, LINE confirmed the exchange will only support crypto-exclusive trading pairs with no trading offered between fiat currency and cryptocurrencies. Around 30 coins are being traded presently at launch including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin, all of which went through “a very rigorous evaluation process” by the exchange’s screening committee that will be applicable to all digital tokens seeking a listing on the exchange.

With LINE’s new foray into the cryptocurrency space, CEO Takeshi Idezawa stated:

“LINE has built its reputation on providing a great social experience for our users, and now we intend to bring that know-how to the world of digital tokens with our BITBOX exchange.”

The crypto-to-crypto exchange will be made available globally for all users – made available in 15 languages – with the notable exceptions of Japan and the United States, due to regulatory hurdles.

While LINE sees over 600 million registered users and 200 million monthly active users worldwide, the exclusion of Japan is bound to have an impact on the BITBOX’s growth since the country is LINE’s most influential market.

As reported by CCN.com earlier this year, LINE has notably filed a crypto exchange application with the Financial Services Agency (FSA) – Japan’s financial regulator – to conduct domestic operations. The application is currently under review.

The exchange operator is partnering early bitcoin startup and wallet provider BitGo, tapping the latter’s multi-signature wallet to store users’ crypto assets. As reported by CCN.com in early 2014, BitGo developed and launched three-key bitcoin wallet wherein the first key is stored in the company’s servers, to enhance security against a single point of failure.

“The BitGo wallet is the only institutional-grade, multi-signature, multi-coin hot wallet,” LINE said, further noting the wallet pairs with BitGO’s offline cold storage custody.

BITBOX is offering zero trading fees for all listed coins in the first month of operations post-launch and is welcoming the first 2 million registered customers with ‘a reward equivalent to US$10 in August’ that can be tradable on the exchange.

Featured image from Shutterstock.