The giant messaging app from Japan, LINE, recently announced that it will launch a new cryptocurrency exchange with a global base in July in Singapore. The exchange, called Bitbox, will be launched in partnership with LVC, the LINE group company that operates blockchain and cryptocurrency businesses. Incidentally, the services will be available worldwide except in the US and Japan, ironically.
As per the reports, Bitbox service will also be unavailable to Japanese nationals who are residing in other countries. The messaging app group has said that the exchange will follow all cryptocurrency regulations in the respective countries. Japan’s biggest messaging app is used by around 70 million Japanese users and is one of the most popular apps in other Asian nations including Thailand.
Bitbox to allow exchange of 30+ cryptocurrencies
According to the statement from LINE, Bitbox will only facilitate crypto-to-crypto trading and will not support trading between cryptocurrencies and fiat currency. The platform will offer services in 15 languages including Korean and English but will exclude Thai and Japanese. Users will be allowed to exchange 30+ virtual currencies including Bitcoin (BTC-USD), Ethereum (ETH-USD), Litecoin (LTC-USD), and Bitcoin Cash (BCH-USD). The trading fee will be 0.1%.
In its statement LINE has said,”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.”
LINE facing hurdles from US & Japanese jurisdictions
For crypto traders, exclusion of US and Japanese nationals from the cryptocurrency exchange platform is surprising. LINE has already applied with the financial regulator of Japan, Financial Services Agency (FSA) for registering and launching Bitbox. However, at the time of the announcement, the application was yet to get a nod from the Japanese regulators and was under review.
That is why LINE decided to exclude both the US and Japanese nationals access to its cryptocurrency exchange. According to reports, the entry of LINE in the cryptocurrency sector is a part of its wider financial strategy that it is planning to execute through a newly formed company, LINE Financial.