Japanese Messaging App Line Opens Crypto Exchange in Singapore

The Bitbox virtual platform is live and offers nearly 30 digital coins in crypto-only trading pairs with Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH) and Tether (USDT).

Line, one of the most popular messengers in Asia, has launched a cryptocurrency exchange in Singapore, dubbed Bitbox. The trading platform has been live since early morning UTC on Monday and offers only crypto trading.

Bitbox supports 28 cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH) Tether (USDT), Ripple (XRP), Litecoin (LTC), Ethereum Classic (ETC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Bitcoin Gold (BTG), MonaCoin (MONA), Qtum (QTUM) and Golem (GNT). The coins are grouped in 54 pairs with BTC, ETH, and USDT.

“BITBOX is only for trading cryptocurrencies (Digital Tokens). Fiat currencies (USD, KRW, etc.) cannot be exchanged on BITBOX,” the company explains on its website.

The exchange has a fee of 0.1% for market makers and takers, and offers services in 15 languages including English, Korean, Chinese, Spanish, French and German.

Bitbox is not available in several countries, including the United States, Japan, Russia, Belarus and several African countries.

At the beginning of the year, Line Group applied for a license with Japan Financial Service Agency (FSA), but the process was delayed because of FSA’s higher scrutiny after the USD 530 million hack of Coincheck. The license is obligatory for offering trading services in Japan.

Currently, Line is applying for a US cryptocurrency exchange license. The firm decided to open its first digital trading platform in Singapore because the city-state, which did not follow China’s ban on digital coin trading in 2017, has become a popular destination for crypto companies.

 “With cryptocurrency, we are going to take our challenge in financial services global,” Takeshi Idezawa, the chief executive of Line, told journalists at a conference in late June when revealed company crypto plans.

In May, Line Group denied social media rumors that it would issue own token through an Initial Coin Offering (ICO).

Line has around 200 million monthly users. It is very popular in Japan and several other Asian countries including South Korea and Thailand.

Line joins a set of several big social networks with crypto plans including Telegram, which is developing a blockchain-based network for payments, and Facebook, which set up a blockchain working group.

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Author: Marin Marinov
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Simon Price

Simon has been active in the cryptosphere for over 7 years and is passionate about new technology. When he's not blogging and trading he can be found catching the surf on his local beach.