Japan’s biggest social network LINE will launch a cryptocurrency exchange under a Singapore-based subsidiary in July — but will exclude Japanese and, initially, US users.
‘In Compliance With Rules And Regulations’
Now, BITBOX, as the platform is known, will cater to “global” cryptocurrency traders but will stop short of serving those in the company’s home territory or the US. The release states:
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.
BITBOX will offer trading between thirty cryptoassets but will not provide fiat exchange functionality. Fifteen languages will be available, but Japanese will not be one of them.
“LINE will engage in the cryptocurrency business in compliance with rules and regulations of respective countries on cryptocurrency trading,” the company pledges.
A US entry may follow, with negotiations ongoing, a source close to the proceedings told the Financial Times.
Jostling With The Competition
With a “tentative” launch date set for next month, LINE, which has over 200 million users globally, joins the steadily-increasing list of Japanese household names peering into the cryptocurrency exchange sector.
In avoiding the domestic market, however, the company places itself at odds with the likes of SBI Group, which debuted its offering earlier this month. Excluding US traders also gives competitor Coinbase the upper hand, the country’s largest exchange having revealed plans to enter Japan.
Executives have not stated the motivation behind the business model.
Meanwhile, Japanese regulators continue to reshape the domestic exchange landscape, issuing ‘Business Improvement Orders’ focusing on security to six operators last week.
Among them was bitFlyer, once the world’s largest exchange, which received a raft of requirements and saw its CEO quit his post at Japan’s cryptocurrency industry regulatory group.
In May, LINE partnered with ICON, at the time the nineteenth-largest exchange in the world, to collaborate on DApp development.
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