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Japanese Messaging Giant Line Gets Thumbs Up for Crypto Exchange Licence


Editors note: Previously, it was stated that LINE’s monthly active users was 8 million, this has been clarified by their team to the correct figure of 81 million.

Line, a popular messaging app in Japan which has been breaking into the cryptocurrency and blockchain space recently, has been granted a crypto exchange operating license from Japan’s financial regulator.

This is big news for Line, for Japan, and the cryptocurrency ecosystem in the country in general. For Japan, there are a lot firmer and faster rules when it comes to running a cryptocurrency exchange – in light of the two significant hacks of Mt. Gox and Coincheck.

For a traditional tech enterprise on the level of Line to now be granted a license spells normalization of crypto, as well as legitimacy for the new payment system which is becoming an intergral next step for even companies like Whatsapp in the West.

The license was granted to LVC Corporation, the digital asset- and blockchain-focused arm. The trading platform is to be known as BITMAX, and will open the doors to the 81 million users of the messaging app. The coins to be traded on the platform will include Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, and XRP.

This is but a further step for Line in its adoption and integration of cryptocurrency. They can now add a fully regulated exchange to their own native cryptocurrency, Link, which was launched on a mainet in August of last year. 

The blockchain network also allows for decentralized applications to be directly applied to Line’s messaging platform, making it more than just about the native token. It is expected that BITMAX would be supporting the LINK token. However, it is uncertain if the FSA has formally authorized the token in its list of approved cryptocurrencies for the forthcoming platform. 

There is a large market developing in Japan for a trusted, regulated, and we’ll run exchange, and that is not even being derived from the population, more form the government. The Japanese approach to cryptocurrency has always been positive – they were one of the first to liken it to money. However, the major hacks on their shores have dented confidence. 

Now, having a messaging app that is in the same league as Whatsapp, opening its cryptocurrency offerings to be branch out into the exchange side of things, is hugely positive. The company has shown its power in entering the cryptocurrency market and now has gone about things in the right manner when looking to launch this exchange. 

Darryn Pollock
Darryn has been interested in the blockchain and cryptocurrency space since he heard about Bitcoin in 2015. He then decided to use his journalism degree to report on this fascinating fintech space in 2016, and has not looked back since.

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