Japan’s Largest Messaging Firm, LINE, Refuses to Be Left Out by Opening a Crypto Exchange
As cryptocurrency knowledge and enthusiasm consistently grows, the sector will continue to experience inflow from traditional players and institutions. There are already a few big names making their way into the sector, integrating blockchain and cryptocurrency with their business services and in some cases, offering these solutions to members of the general public.
Facebook, for example, has announced that it will be launching its own cryptocurrency by next year. The asset, Libra, will be floated in partnership with 27 different firms jointly known as the Libra Association.
According to reports, the biggest and most used instant messaging app in Japan –Line – will be launching its own cryptocurrency exchange as soon as it receives authorization from the Financial Services Agency in Japan. It’s reported that Line intends to take advantage of its 80 million users to push its exchange.
This isn't the first time Line is involved in a cryptocurrency project as last year in July, the company launched a different cryptocurrency exchange called BITBOX in Singapore. BITBOX was created to be able to incorporate Line’s native digital asset called LINK.
The new BitMax Is expected to be launched sometime this month and will cater to Japanese customers. Since inception, BITBOX has not been available for locals in Japan.
Everybody Wants Some Crypto
As earlier stated, there are quite a few companies that are making significant plans to enter the cryptocurrency sector and some of them have already deployed relevant solutions.
Currently, Facebook’s Libra is one of the most discussed stories in global financial markets. Reactions to the announcement have been significantly polar because some people think it's a fantastic idea while others do not trust Facebook especially because of its recent privacy issues.
One major problem people have with Libra is the fact that it's not totally decentralized like most other digital assets as the Libra Association will largely control it's mining and general application. Regardless, the social media giant’s official step into the world of crypto is big news for the sector in general.
As part of its corporate announcement of BITBOX last year, the CEO of Line spoke on the company's interests In the sector. According to Takeshi Idezawa:
“LINE has built its reputation on providing a great social experience for our users, and now we intend to bring that know-how to the world of digital tokens with our BITBOX exchange. With BITBOX, we intend to have an exchange that is easier to use, while also ensuring we provide extremely strong levels of security.”
Line will use the same technology currently being used by BITBOX for the new BitMax. It’s also expected that the new crypto exchange might encourage Japanese locals especially because some have been a bit uneasy since Coincheck and Zaif were targets of a hack.
Even though the two firms have resumed business under new companies, there’s still some apprehension in the air.
There Will Be More Influx
With the way things are going, it does make sense to expect that there will be more firms trying to enter the industry and compete with those already there. For example, Samsung is said to be working on creating its own main net that will be powered by Ethereum.
Now, Line has joined Kakao and Binance, all of whom have spent a lot of time and resources to try to break new ground in cryptocurrency. It is also expected that Facebook will indirectly inspire other firms to either create their own tokens or at least accommodate cryptocurrency in their businesses.
Since we’re only about halfway into the year, there’s still a lot that could happen before 2019 ends.