Japanese social messaging app LINE will launch a cryptocurrency exchange for 30 coins next month, it revealed Thursday, June 28.
In a press release, the company, which counts around 200 million monthly users, confirmed it would offer crypto-to-crypto trading platform BITBOX “globally” excluding the U.S. and Japan.
“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,” the release states.
As Cointelegraph reported in January, LINE had been in talks with Japanese regulators over launching an exchange. The decision to exclude Japan from BITBOX, which will not handle fiat currency, now appears tied to regulatory difficulties.
“LINE will engage in the cryptocurrency business in compliance with rules and regulations of respective countries on cryptocurrency trading,” it added.
Japan’s cryptocurrency exchange sector continues to face major upheaval. Last week, regulators issued so-called ‘Business Improvement Orders’ to six operators. The Financial Services Agency’s attempt to make the industry legally watertight and prevent security lapses took place in the wake of the January $530 million hack of Coincheck.
Other major names have meanwhile committed to Japan’s domestic exchange market, these including SBI Group and, from 2019, Yahoo!
LINE Announces Plan to Launch Cryptocurrency Exchange BITBOX in July Enabling Trading Globally Except in Japan and the U.S.
Handling at least 30 different cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and being ready for 15 languages except Japanese
TOKYO – June 28, 2018 – LINE Corporation (“LINE”) and LVC Corporation (“LVC”), a LINE group company operating its cryptocurrency and blockchain businesses, announced today the plan to launch BITBOX, a cryptocurrency exchange available globally except in Japan and the U.S. (*1) through LINE Tech Plus PTE. LTD. (a Singapore-based company under both LINE and LVC) in July 2018.
*1 LINE will engage in the cryptocurrency business in compliance with rules and regulations of respective countries on cryptocurrency trading.
LINE strives to create and provide innovative financial services unique to LINE in order to close the distance between people and money.
Cryptocurrency exchange BITBOX is launching as part of LINE’s financial services business, providing services globally except in Japan and the U.S. 30 or more cryptocurrencies can be exchanged in BITBOX, and it will support 15 languages excluding Japanese. BITBOX only allows the exchange of cryptocurrencies, and does not accept exchange between fiat money and cryptocurrencies.
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.
■ Service Outline of “BITBOX”
・Service launch: July 2018 (Tentative)
・Available countries: Countries except Japan and the U.S.
・Intended users: The service is not intended for residents of Japan, Japanese nationals residing outside Japan and residents of the U.S. IP addresses, telephone numbers and KYC (*2) will be used to preclude unintended users.
・Supported languages: Fifteen languages including English and Korean (note: Japanese and Thai are not supported).
・Exchangeable cryptocurrencies: 30 or more currencies, including: Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Bitcoincash (BCH), Litecoin (LTC). * The above-mentioned cryptocurrencies were selected through a rigorous review by a listing committee composed of experts.
Trading spread (* 3): 0.1%
Opening commemorative campaign: A zero trading commission campaign is being planned for new BITBOX users for a month from the launch date.
*2 An acronym for “Know Your Customer” (personal identification), a requirement for an entity wishing to open a bank account to submit personal or corporate information documents. This is intended to prevent the account from being used for money laundering purposes by opening the account as that of a fictitious person or corporation.
*3 The term ”spread” refers to a difference between buying and selling prices that occurs mainly at the time of so called over-the-counter trade, one-on-one coin trading between the user and the cryptocurrency exchange.
LINE will continue to transform all users’ financial experience by providing friendly and innovative financial services to close the distance between people and money. As the society heads toward cashless and wallet-less future, LINE will be actively involved in undertaking initiatives and creating systems to accelerate the development of its businesses and reinforce its services as it strives to become a leader in the FinTech business.
■LINE Corporation Overview
(1) Name: LINE Corporation
(2) Location: JR Shinjuku Miraina Tower 23F, 4-1-6 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, Japan
(3) Representative: Takeshi Idezawa, Representative Director, President and CEO
(4) Business: Provision and operation of the LINE messaging app and content and services made available on the LINE platform, in addition to other web service businesses and AI businesses
(5) Capital: JPY 92,728 million (as of March 31, 2018)
(6) Date of establishment: September 4, 2000
(7) Number of employees: 1,692 (non-consolidated basis; as of April 30, 2018)
(8) Revenue: JPY 167,147 million, consolidated (for the fiscal year ending December 31, 2017, calculated in accordance with IFRS)
■LVC Corporation Overview
(1) Name: LVC Corporation
(2) Location: 4-1-6 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, Japan
(3) Representative: Youngsu Ko
(4) Business: Holding company of cryptocurrency exchange and blockchain businesses
(5) Capital: JPY 1,210 million
(6) Date of establishment: January 31, 2018
■LINE Tech Plus PTE. LTD. Overview
(1) Name: LINE Tech Plus PTE. LTD.
(2) Location: 10 ANSON ROAD#23-14L INTERNATIONAL PLAZA SINGAPORE (079903)
(3) Representative: Youngsu Ko, Representative Director
(4) Business: Intermediation service for trading or exchange of cryptocurrencies via cryptocurrency exchange BITBOX
(5) Date of establishment: April 11, 2018