Messaging Giant Line to Launch Crypto Exchange in July

Line, the company behind a popular chat app in Japan, announced Thursday that it will open a cryptocurrency exchange in July. 

AccessTimeIconJun 28, 2018 at 1:15 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 8:07 a.m. UTC
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Line, the company behind a popular messaging app, announced Thursday that it will open a cryptocurrency exchange in July.

The new exchange, known as BitBox, was unveiled during a conference held this week in Japan. Notably, the exchange won't offer services to residents in Japan and the U.S. – a likely nod to the regulatory realities of working in those markets.

In an announcement release, Line said that the exchange would be purely crypto-to-crypto, meaning that it will not, at least for now, support government-issued currencies.

The company explained:

"[The] 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."

Line's exchange will support bitcoin, bitcoin cash, ether and litecoin among a list of "30 or more currencies" that the company said were chosen "through a rigorous review by a listing committee composed of experts."

The move comes months after Line launched a new company dedicated to crypto services, indicating at the time that it was eyeing an exchange launch.

Its decision to exclude Japan suggests that its effort to obtain a license from Japan's Financial Services Agency (FSA) is still ongoing, given that it disclosed its application back in January.

"The application process for registration as a virtual currency exchanger has already been started with the Financial Services Agency [FSA], and it is currently under review," Line said in a statement at the time.

Image via Shutterstock

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