Japanese messaging app Line has received a license for a cryptocurrency exchange. The country’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) granted this license to Line’s blockchain division LVC Corporation. As a result 80 the messaging giant can offer cryptocurrency trading services to its 80 million Japanese users.
Thanks to the license the company can start its own Japanese cryptocurrency exchange called BitMax. However, not everything can be listed on the exchange. BitMax can offer trading in five currencies: bitcoin, ethereum, bitcoin cash, litecoin and XRP. This would be Line’s second cryptocurrency exchange. In July the company launched BitBox in Singapore.
Line’s platform is one of twenty licenses cryptocurrency exchanges in Japan. Among them are also the recently approved Rakuten Wallet, and older companies like Coincheck and SBI VC Trade.
The messaging app Line has 700 million users worldwide. However, the newly acquired license only applies for the 80 million Japanese Line users. That means that Line has a market penetration of 64%.
Social media getting crypto hungry
The move from messaging app Line into crypto is not unexpected. The company already has Link, a cryptocurrency that can be used inside its social media app. By adding exchange options to the app, it will become more prominent as a serious payment tool.
Line isn’t the only social media platform that’s hungry for cryptocurrencies. Facebook wants to introduce Libra as a stablecoin, while Kakao Corp is launching its own Klaytn blockchain complete with decentralized apps, services and social media.
In June blockchain developer Block One even invested 30 million dollars in a domain name. Voice.com needs to become the next big decentralized social media platform, while BitTube launched BitTubers.com earlier this year.
Also published on Medium.