Japan’s Line to Open Digital Exchange in Singapore
Line Corp., Japan’s largest messaging service, is looking to open a new cryptocurrency exchange next month in Singapore. Interestingly, the company’s services will be available to customers everywhere except the U.S. and Japan, where Line is headquartered.
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Trouble on the Home Turf
Line first attempted to open a new exchange in Japan last January, but experienced halts and stoppages in its application process after the Financial Services Agency (FSA) decided to implement stricter cryptocurrency regulations following the Coincheck hack that resulted in over half-a-billion dollars in cryptocurrency funds being stolen.
CEO of Line, Takeshi Idezawa, says Singapore is the perfect place for the new venture given the country’s loose regulations on crypto. “With cryptocurrency, we are going to take our challenge in financial services global,” he confidently stated.
A Little Background
Known as Bitbox, the exchange will offer upwards of 30 separate cryptocurrencies at trading fees of roughly 0.1 percent. Services will also be available in over 15 different languages. The company has yet to announce all the cryptocurrencies it plans to offer, though it has been confirmed that bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), bitcoin cash (BCH), and Litecoin (LTC) will be available.
As the most popular messaging app in Japan, Line came to fruition in 2011 via South Korean company Naver Corp. It can operate on virtually any mobile phone system, and is also available in desktop form for Windows and Apple operating systems. The company also boasts hundreds of millions of users outside of Japan, in countries like Taiwan, Thailand, and Turkmenistan to name a few.
In a prepared statement, executives of Line announced that Bitbox will strictly be a cryptocurrency exchange, and they are not making room for any fiat trading:
“Line strives to create and provide innovative financial services unique to Line to close the distance between people and money. Bitbox only allows the exchange of cryptocurrencies, and does not accept exchange between fiat money and cryptocurrencies.”
Line Wants to Attract New Customers
In addition, Line is also working on creating its own unique token, as well as a stand-alone app for Bitbox. Idezawa further states that the company will utilize a unique way of gaining subscribers from countries dominated by Facebook Inc.’s Messenger and WhatsApp.
“There isn’t a system in place right now that can monetarily reward users’ contributions to a service. Linking service growth to compensation for contributors in a token economy could unlock a great deal of new value.”
Sound off below. Are you excited at the prospect of a new digital exchange?
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