Crypto Exchange To Be Launched By Japan’s Biggest Chat App

Announcements, News | January 31, 2018 By:

Japan-based messaging app Line will be launching its own crypto exchange to allow users to trade cryptocurrencies within its app.

Line is Japan’s most popular messaging app. Line has a market value of ¥1.2 trillion ($10.75 billion USD). The app currently has about 168 million monthly active users in its primary markets of Japan, Taiwan, Thailand, and Indonesia. Line Pay is the mobile payments service used in the app. It has signed deals with over 30 banks across Japan to allow instant transactions using its platform. In May 2017, Line Pay reached 30 million users in Japan.

In a statement, the messaging company said it will establish a new company, called Line Financial Corporation, to expand the financial services offered to users. Those new services will include a crypto exchange as well as loans and insurance to “further reinforce its position in the financial business domain.”.

Line said it has filed an application for registering the crypto exchange with Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA), which oversees registrations of new exchanges, and that the application is currently under review. The company will also promote research and development into blockchain and hire experts in related technologies and finance.

The announcement comes days after Japanese cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck lost 523 million XEM tokens (worth over $400M USD) to a hack.

The FSA has ordered Coincheck to turn in a full report, including their cybersecurity plans, by February 13. In addition, the FSA has began examining all cryptocurrency exchange operators in Japan and will conduct on-site inspections if necessary.

In September 2017, the FSA started to officially recognize crypto exchanges that met their standard. There are currently 16 registered crypto exchanges in Japan and 16 waiting for approval while operating.