Inside money, markets, and big tech

Line is launching its own cryptocurrency exchange next month

Welcome the latest tech giant to put its operations on the blockchain

line, cryptocurrency, blockchain

Tokyo-based messaging titan Line is gearing up to launch its own cryptocurrency exchange desk – but the service will not be immediately available to all users.

In an announcement on its website, the company said its new undertaking, called BITBOX, is set to take off in July. Unfortunately, the service will not be available to users in the US and Japan, which is where the messenger was initially founded. But this is hardly surprising in light of the recent regulatory crackdowns in the country.

Indeed, leading exchange desk Binance also opted to move its operations out of Japan not so long ago (even though it initially denied that a move might be necessary).

BITBOX will offer at least 30 different cryptocurrencies and support 15 languages. Ironically, Japanese won’t be one of these languages.

Line strives to create and provide innovative financial services unique to LINE in order to close the distance between people and money,” the company wrote. “BITBOX only allows the exchange of cryptocurrencies, and does not accept exchange between fiat money and cryptocurrencies.”

Unfortunately, the announcement stopped short of disclosing what currencies will be available, but it did mention that Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), and Litecoin (LTC) will be on the list – not that any of these should come as a surprise to anyone.

Reports that Line is working on a dedicated exchange desk first surfaced back in January, when the company revealed it had filed a license application with the Japanese Financial Service Agency (FSA).

It will be interesting to see how the company rolls out the new service to its 700 million users worldwide. It also remains to be seen how the company plans to integrate the exchange desk with its mobile payment service Line Pay, which is already available within the app and boasts more than 40 million registered users.

Published June 28, 2018 — 10:26 UTC