Why Japan’s Biggest Messenger is Launching a Crypto Exchange For 80 Million Users

June 20, 2019 09:05 UTC

By CCN Markets: Line, the most widely utilized messaging application in Japan with more than 80 million users is set to receive approval from Japan’s Financial Services Agency as early as June to launch a crypto exchange, according to a Bloomberg report.

In July 2018, Line launched a crypto exchange called “BITBOX” in Singapore with the intent of integrating LINK, the Line ecosystem’s native crypto asset.

BITBOX, a crypto exchange operated by Line in Singapore (source: Line)

BitMax, Line’s new crypto exchange awaiting for an approval from local financial authorities, will launch in Japan to facilitate trades for local users. BITBOX has disallowed Japanese users from trading since its launch.

Line up: Conglomerates are diving head first into crypto

In 2019, many of the world’s largest financial institutions, technology conglomerates, and corporations from a wide range of industries have introduced various plans to enter the crypto market.

Most recently, Facebook led the launch of the Libra Association, a consortium of major companies in the likes of Visa, Mastercard, Uber, Lyft, and Booking Holdings to create a crypto asset backed by a reserve of real assets such as reserve currencies called Libra.

The planned launch of BitMax in Japan by Line presents the release of yet another initiative from a large-scale conglomerate to facilitate the growth of the crypto and blockchain sector.

When BITBOX initially launched last year, Line CEO Takeshi Idezawa said:

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. With BITBOX, we intend to have an exchange that is easier to use, while also ensuring we provide extremely strong levels of security.

BitMax will use the same technology used by BITBOX and based on the track record of BITBOX in Singapore, a well-regulated market for crypto-related companies and exchanges, Line is expected to obtain a license to operate BitMax in Japan in the near term.

The launch of a crypto exchange by Line, a highly regarded technology giant in Japan, may restore the confidence of local investors and users following the high-profile security breaches of Coincheck and Zaif.

Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) is among the worlds’ first national regulators to begin issuing crypto exchange licenses. | Source: Shutterstock

Since being hacked, both Coincheck and Zaif have re-opened in Japan with new licenses under new parent companies, compensating users for lost funds.

With a practical regulatory framework in place for crypto exchanges and the encouragement of local authorities towards crypto exchanges to deal with the aftermath of security breaches adhering to a transparent process by compensating users for stolen funds, a more secure environment is set to be established for investors.

Are native exchanges the future?

Local publications have reported earlier this month that Samsung is working on the mainnet development of its own blockchain network based on Ethereum.

CoindeskKorea, a crypto publication operated by mainstream media outlet Hankyoreh, said that Samsung is in progress of creating a private blockchain on Ethereum with an internal blockchain task force.

Most companies with native crypto assets in the likes of Binance, Kakao, and Line operate exchanges or have invested heavily in an exchange to list their tokens in the future.

UPbit, the largest crypto exchange in South Korea, is operated by Dunamu, a company invested by Kakao that operates KakaoStock.

As more conglomerates move towards releasing independent crypto assets as seen in the case of the Libra Association and Facebook, there are expectations that a growing number of conglomerates will move into the crypto exchange market.

This article was edited by Samburaj Das.

Last modified: June 24, 2019 21:58 UTC

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