The operator of Japan’s most popular chat app with approximately 168 million monthly users has announced its plans to launch a cryptocurrency exchange. Line Corporation has already begun the registration process as a crypto exchange with the country’s financial regulator.
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Line Starting Crypto Business
The operator of Japan’s most popular messaging app, Line Corporation, officially announced its plans on Wednesday to launch a cryptocurrency exchange.
The company has established a subsidiary called Line Financial Corporation “as a follow-up to Line Pay” in order to “further reinforce its position in the financial business domain,” its announcement details, adding that:
Going forward, Line will use this new company as a base as it proceeds with preparations to provide a variety of financial services, including a place to exchange and transact virtual currencies, loans, and insurance – all from the Line app
Line Pay is the mobile money transfer and payment service linked to the Line chat app. Launched in 2014, it has signed deals with over 30 banks across Japan to allow instant transactions using its platform, as news.Bitcoin.com previously reported. In Wednesday’s announcement, the company claims that Line Pay’s registered users have reached 40 million and its global transaction volume last year exceeded 450 million yen (~US$4.14 million). However, the company has not confirmed whether its new cryptocurrency exchange will be integrated into Line Pay.
Application to Operate a Crypto Exchange
Since the Japanese Payment Services Act went into effect in April of last year, all companies seeking to operate cryptocurrency exchanges must register with the country’s Financial Services Agency (FSA). So far, 16 crypto exchanges have been approved.
Line revealed on Wednesday:
The application process for registration as a virtual currency exchanger has already been started with the Financial Services Agency, and it is currently under review.
The company’s announcement came amid the FSA’s investigations of all cryptocurrency exchanges in Japan following the recent hack of one of the country’s largest crypto exchanges, Coincheck. The FSA typically takes two months to approve a registration, except for Coincheck’s application which it has been reviewing for over four months.
Regarding the Coincheck hack, president and CEO of Line Corporation Takeshi Uezawa commented that “security is Line’s priority,” NHK reported.
Line’s crypto exchange announcement came as its counterpart in South Korea rose to become the country’s largest crypto exchange by trading volume in just a few months. Upbit is an exchange backed by Kakao Corp which operates South Korea’s most popular chat app, Kakao Talk. While Upbit has over 120 coins listed due to its partnership with the US-based Bittrex, Line has not revealed how many cryptocurrencies will be supported on its platform.
Do you think Line’s crypto exchange will do well? Will you use it? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Nikkei, and Line Corporation.
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