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Line’s Crypto Exchange Nears Japan Approval

Line's Crypto Exchange Nears Japan Approval

Japan’s most popular communication app, Line, is heading towards the country’s approval to roll out its crypto exchange in the home nation. As reported by Bloomberg on 20 June 2019, the license is expected to be issued by Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) within this month. If so, the operations are lined up to kick off a few weeks post the regulatory authorization.

The platform, dubbed as BitMax, will extend trading facilities to about 80 million users in Japan. This will enable trading of major cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin including Line’s own token, Link, the report claimed. Line’s shares spiked up by 4.6% post the report.

About a year ago, Line launched the crypto exchange, BitBox. The platform, however, was denied approval by Japan and the US which rendered its services unavailable to the countries. BitMax has been designed to use the same back-end technology as BitBox.

The report stated that Line has another banking license on halt in Japan which is unlikely to be issued anytime until next year. The issuance of the above said license will bring forth a tight amalgamation between cryptocurrencies and services such as online shopping.

In March 2019, the FSA granted a license to tech giant Rakuten’s crypto exchange, which replaced Everybody’s Bitcoin Inc, acquired by the company for USD 2.4 million. Yahoo Japan’s crypto exchange Taotao was launched on 30 May 2019 after receiving approval from the FSA.

However, the FSA has been tightening its anti-money laundering regime to inspect crypto exchanges in accordance with the FATF inspection in a bid to up its financial security framework. This has been Japan’s top priority to avoid criticism from the intergovernmental watchdog as the country chairs this year’s G-20 summit to be held on 28 and 29 June. This is clearly reflected in the fact that as of March 2019, only 19 crypto exchanges had received a license from the FSA as opposed to the 190 applications received by the agency in 2018.


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Chat Giant LINE Launches BITBOX Crypto Exchange, Signs BitGo Partnership

Global messaging giant LINE, which is headquartered in Tokyo, Japan has announced the launch of the BITBOX cryptocurrency exchange. BITBOX is based in Singapore and offers 15 languages and 30 different cryptocurrencies.

Due to lack of regulatory approval BITBOX is unavailable to users in the United States and Japan. The site is blocked off to citizens of these countries but BITBOX is open for business in all other countries.

The primary goal of BITBOX is to merge the social experience of LINE with a cryptocurrency exchange, so perhaps the main draw of BITBOX will be an active community with easy-to-use chat software. There are plenty of crypto exchanges that have at least rudimentary chat software, but by using LINE’s messaging technology BITBOX can take crypto exchange chat rooms to more sophisticated levels.

LINE is a popular messaging app with 600 million users as of 2015. This will make it easy for LINE to get customers for BITBOX since it can advertise it to a large user base. Further, LINE is offering free trading for the first month after launch, and USD 10 of cryptocurrency for the first 2 million users.

BITBOX has partnered with BitGo, a cryptocurrency custodian, to provide security for the exchange. LINE’s BITBOX announcement says, “The BitGo wallet is the only institutional-grade, multi-signature, multi-coin hot wallet. Multi-signature, three-key management removes any single point of failure, and advanced security configurations ensure that assets are secure as they move in and out of the wallet. The BitGo wallet pairs seamlessly with BitGo’s cold storage custody making asset transfer simple and secure.”

Apparently, LINE and BitGo are aiming to attract institutional investors. BitGo CEO Mike Belshe says, “LINE and BitGo are both leaders in our industry and this partnership with BITBOX is an important step in bringing institutional investors the security, compliance, and custodial solutions they need. LINE has an established history of success in the global market. Together BITBOX and BitGo are committed to providing the most secure and reliable user experience in the digital token ecosystem.”


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