The Japanese messaging giant Line is reportedly shortly to be licensed by the Financial Services Agency (FSA), the Japanese financial regulator. With that license, the company will be able to set up a cryptocurrency exchange in the country.
Line has more than 80 million users within Japan, of which 50 million use Line’s payment platform, Line Pay. Around 187 million users worldwide use the messaging platform.
Line plans to set up a cryptocurrency exchange in Japan, called BitMax. The exchange is said to be based on the same technology as BitBox, a different exchange from Line.
LINE established virtual currency exchange BitBox by a subsidiary based in Singapore in July 2018. Although it handles 30 different currencies and supports 15 languages, it is not accessible to the Japanese due to the strict regulations in Japan. Every crypto exchange must have a permit, for which a lengthy and strict process must first be followed.
The FSA could grant a license to Line as early as this month. A few weeks later, the exchange could already be live, says Line in a press statement. On BitMax it will be possible to trade large cryptocurrencies like bitcoin (BTC) , but also LINEs own cryptocurrency, called Link. If Link, which is LINE’s own currency, can also be traded, it will be recognized for the first time in several years as a FSA whitelisted currency.
In addition, Line hopes to be able to obtain a banking license in the near future. With such a permit, it could integrate cryptocurrencies even further within its ecosystem. This permit could only be issued in 2020 at the earliest.
Partly through these permits, Line wants to expand further within the financial sector. The co-CEO, Shin Jung-ho, said earlier this month that the company is also planning to offer stock brokerage services.
LINE Token Economy concept including domestic
LINE launched the “LINE Token Economy” concept in August 2018 separately from BitBox. Within this concept, LINE has announced its own Dapps “Wizball” “4 CAST” “Pasha” “tapas” and “STEP”.
Both are CGM services that allow users to interact with each other, and become a token economy in which Link (Link Point in Japan) is given to users actively participating in the interaction.