Chat App Line To Launch Cryptocurrency Exchange Bitbox Next Month
Line, the popular messaging app in Japan, is planning to launch its own cryptocurrency exchange for Bitcoin (BTC) and other altcoins as early as next month. However, the catch is Line will launch its exchange in Singapore even though Japan is one of the largest cryptocurrency markets.
Line, which has joined the league of messaging platforms such as Telegram and Kik to jump into cryptocurrency bandwagon, has an active user base of over 165 million. Initially, Line’s cryptocurrency exchange, christened Bitbox, will offer popular cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Litecoin (LTC) and Ethereum (ETH).
In the future, Line aims to list up to 30 cryptocurrencies for trading. The exchange will also provide an interface that supports 15 languages. More importantly, the exchange will charge a competitive trading fee of only 0.1%. Takeshi Idezawa, the chief executive of Line, said
“With cryptocurrency, we are going to take our challenge in financial services global.”
The company applied for a FSA (Financial Services Agency) license in January. However, the process hit a barrier when Coincheck, an unlicensed cryptocurrency exchange, lost $533 worth NEM (XEM) million in a hacking incident.
Line, which is owned by South Korea’s largest internet portal operator Naver, is also taking measures to receive a license from the US regulator. However, Singapore was chosen to launch Bitbox due to its crypto friendly regulatory environment.
The launch of Bitbox comes at a time when Line’s chat user base is contracting. The company’s user base in Taiwan, Thailand, and Indonesia has declined to 90 million from 103 million last year. However, Line added 7 million customers in Japan last year to reach a user base of 75 million.