The largest messaging service in Japan, Line Corp. is poised to open an exchange for cryptocurrency called Bitbox. The launch comes at a time when frantic selloff of Bitcoin has lead to its value plummeting and it has already instilled substantial pessimism pertaining to the future of cryptocurrencies. The exchange will facilitate trading of over thirty virtual currencies including bitcoin and bitcoin cash, litecoin and ethereum. The fiat currencies would not be traded as of now. The dedicated website for the cryptocurrency exchange would be launched in fifteen languages and would be available to traders around the world. The company made the announcement at the annual strategy briefing held in Tokyo in the last week of June and said that the exchange will be charging a trading fee of 0.1% of the transacted value.
Takeshi Idezawa, the chief executive officer of Line Corp., stated that the company hopes to capitalize on the token based economy that is primarily centered round blockchain technology. The messenger is already trying to integrate its various efforts in ecommerce, media and entertainment. The new venture exploring cryptocurrencies comes at a time when the virtual token industry is being dealt with stringently regulatory measures and is under acute scrutiny for security concerns. The same developments lead to the fall of the value of bitcoin by around three fifth.
Line is also venturing into financial services. This is an attempt to limit its reliance on revenue generated through advertising. The company is also trying to get subscribers in various countries where Messenger of Facebook and WhatsApp are the major messaging services used by millions of people. Takeshi Idezawa hopes to provide some monetary rewards to users who consider a service. There are many types of contributors in the virtual token economy and they should be rewarded monetarily which is not being done or facilitated by any prevalent system anywhere in the world. In the same vein, Line is also contemplating creating a token of its own that would be used to pay its users for various types of contributions and services. Third party service providers would also have similar access to their platform.
The exchange and the financial services are among the many developments Line Corp. is working on. The company is also planning to launch a mobile app dedicated to the exchange. This app is a standalone service, separate from the messaging application and other products of the company. The security of the exchange would be ensured by BitGo Inc., a credible security firm specializing in blockchain. The exchange will presently be unavailable in Japan and the United States. Line Corp. has set up Line Financial Corp. early in the year and has applied for the relevant license in Japan to launch the cryptocurrency exchange.
Line Corp. is already in the digital payments scene with Line Pay, which is a wallet service for smartphones. The payment app has been in used for four years now and already has over forty million users around the world. Line would be investing thirty billion yen in financial technology and artificial intelligence operations this year to expand the existing services and to delve into insurance and lending.
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