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No decision has been made on launching cryptocurrency exchange in Japan, Line clarifies

Thu, 20 Jun 2019, 10:37 am UTC

Japanese messaging giant Line will reportedly soon be able to open a cryptocurrency exchange, Bloomberg reported citing people familiar with the matter.

As per the report, the company could receive a license from Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) as soon as this month.

Sources said that once the license is received, Line could begin exchange operations in the forthcoming weeks. The service, reportedly called “BitMax,” will allow the firm’s user base of around 80 million to engage in buying and selling of cryptocurrencies.

BitMax will support various cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin and LINK, Line’s own digital token “LINK” introduced in August 2018, a source added.

In July 2018, Line launched its first cryptocurrency exchange, BITBOX, which is based in Singapore. The following month it announced LINK token and its first blockchain network, LINK Chain. BITBOX is the first exchange to list LINK and is also the token’s sole distributor.

In response to the reports, Line has issued an official statement, which says:

“Some media have reported that LINE Corporation (“LINE”) will launch a crypto currency business in Japan. However, this is not an official announcement from LINE, and no such decision has been made.”

Line reportedly also has another banking license pending in Japan, which, if granted, would allow it to create a cryptocurrency payments tunnel for other services such as online shopping, CoinDesk reported.

Earlier this month, LINE Pay Corporation, partnered with payments behemoth Visa to create new financial services experiences for their collective user base.

Previously in March, the FSA granted a license to Rakuten Wallet, a cryptocurrency exchange being launched by Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten. As of March 2019, the regulator has granted licenses to 19 cryptocurrency exchanges.

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