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Line Corporation
28-06-2018, 08:55 PM.
Post: #1
Line Corporation
Line Defies Cryptocurrency Bears to Open Exchange in Singapore

By Pavel Alpeyev
June 28, 2018, 4:44 PM GMT+8

Line Corp., Japan’s biggest messaging service, is opening a cryptocurrency exchange next month even amid Bitcoin selloff that’s fueled pessimism over the future of virtual currencies.

The exchange, called Bitbox, will offer trading between more than 30 virtual tokens including bitcoin, ethereum, bitcoin cash and litecoin, but not fiat currencies, the Japanese company said at an annual strategy briefing in Tokyo on Thursday. The website will be available in 15 languages to users worldwide, except for those in Japan and the U.S. Bitbox will charge a 0.1 percent trading fee.

Chief Executive Officer Takeshi Idezawa laid out a vision of a token-based economy that places blockchain technology at the center of the messengers’s efforts to tie together its various commerce, entertainment and media offerings. The move into cryptocurrencies comes at a time when the industry faces increasing regulatory scrutiny and security concerns that pushed the price of bitcoin about 60 percent lower this year. Line is expanding into financial services to reduce reliance on advertising revenue and offer a way to gain subscribers in countries dominated by Facebook Inc.’s Messenger and WhatsApp.
The company, which established Line Financial Corp. in January, has also applied for a license to open a cryptocurrency exchange in Japan. The messenger has been offering Line Pay smartphone wallet service since 2014 and has attracted more than 40 million registered users worldwide. Line is investing 30 billion yen ($272 million) in fintech and AI operations this fiscal year and plans to expand its services to include lending and insurance.

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