In an announcement on September 6, Japan’s most popular messaging app provider, LINE, announced that they had been granted a cryptocurrency trading license by Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA). This means that they will be able to offer themselves as a crypto exchange service to the 80 million active users who use the platform monthly in Japan.
It was reported as far back as June 2019 that LINE was close to obtaining the license for their platform which will be referred to as BitMax. This will be the company’s second cryptocurrency exchange, after launching Bitbox in Singapore in July 2018. The new platform will allow trading in SegWitCoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), and Litecoin (LTC), among others.
LINE is not just looking to take advantage of their new licensure. Last year, they launched their own cryptocurrency, Link, and have been continuing to develop their own token ecosystem based upon a service-oriented blockchain referred to as Link Chain.
This blockchain network allows users to be able to directly apply their tokens toward the Line messaging platform for trades or payments. Link is listed on BitBox and it is expected that BitMax will also support Link trades. However, it has not been formally announced whether the company has received permission from the FSA to be able to list their token on their approved list of cryptocurrencies.
This action may not occur for some time, however. The Japanese financial regulating agency is currently scheduled to meet in the spring of 2020 where they look to revise laws related to cryptocurrency transactions and trading. These revisions will occur to the Financial Instruments and Exchange Act, and this may mean that any action to approve of a new digital currency may have to await those revisions.
However, gaining approval from the FSA is a big deal. The regulatory agency had recently made their requirements far more stringent, so gaining approval is an extremely difficult process. That LINE was approved for such a licensure expresses how confident the Japanese regulatory service is in this new exchange. Currently, only 20 firms in Japan have received the cryptocurrency licensure.
In a statement, LINE President Takeshi Dezawa explained that he is hoping that over time LINE “aims to flatten the relationship structure between users and service providers to promote co-creation and mutual growth.”
When exactly the new platform will go live in Japan was not specified, but is expected to occur soon.
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