Japanese messaging giant LINE has at the forefront of blockchain and cryptocurrency adoption and integration. Last year, the company was granted a crypto exchange operating license from Japan’s financial regulator. It soon launched its virtual currency trading service for its 80 million users in Japan, dubbed Bitmax.
The company boasts a user base of 80 million only in Japan, and their worldwide customer base amounts close to 164 million, this gives LINE a huge community of customers to exploit. They received regulatory approval a few days prior to Bitmax’s launch.
The Exchange went live showcasing five major cryptocurrencies namely Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Ripple (XRP), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), and Litecoin (LTC).
The exchange, however, operates in a completely different manner than that of BitBox, LINE’s Singapore-based cryptocurrency exchange that has been in operation since July 2018. BitBox, however, is not accessible to Japanese and United States-based users.
The exchange is operated via LVC Corporation a subsidiary of LINE which was awarded its exchange license by Japan’s Financial Services Agency on September 6. This allowed Japanese residents with a LINE account, to easily access Bitmax.
Link going live in Japan
According to recent reports, LVC Corporation is now launching the trading of its cryptocurrency ‘Link’ in Japan, starting in April 2020. The January 30 press release states that LVC is developing a system that will allow for Link’s debut in Japan on its local cryptocurrency exchange BitMax.
Back in August last year, LINE became one of the first publicly traded companies to have launched a proprietary blockchain mainnet with its own cryptocurrency – LINK. Even their creation of this cryptocurrency was done in an innovative and more mainstream-friendly manner.
Link has already been trading on the company’s international exchange BitBox since October 2018. Due to stricter national cryptocurrency regulations in Japan, LVC had to wait to obtain a license from local financial regulators in September 2019 before launching its BitMax cryptocurrency exchange in the country.
As per the official website, Link allows its holders access to a variety of services and decentralized applications.
Back in October 2019, LINE announced a mutual partnership with Nomura, one of the leading Japanese banks. Both parties came to an agreement that focuses on blockchain technology. The agreement followed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that was signed earlier in January, which required the parties to form a financial business alliance.
Apart from Line, other social platforms like Kik, Telegram, Whatsapp and social media giant Facebook are also working on their respective cryptocurrency projects. Kik and telegram are both amidst legal battles with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission.