Posted on

Japan’s Line Reportedly Close to Obtaining FSA License for Japanese Crypto Exchange

LVC Corporation is allegedly close to obtaining an FSA-issued crypto exchange operating license.

LVC Corporation, the digital asset- and blockchain-focused arm of Japanese messaging giant Line, is allegedly close to obtaining a crypto exchange operating license from Japan’s financial regulator. The news was reported by Cointelegraph Japan on June 20.

According to the report, Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) could issue the company with an exchange license as early as this month.

The trading service, to be dubbed BitMax, would enable Line’s 80 million users in Japan to buy and sell multiple major cryptocurrencies, as well as Line’s native token Link, CT Japan notes.

Per a press release recently shared with Cointelegraph, Line counts 187 million global users monthly, with an estimated 50 million users registered its mobile payment service, Line Pay.

BitMax will reportedly use the same back-end infrastructure as the Singapore-based, global user-focused crypto exchange BitBox, which was launched by Line in July 2018.

BitBox notably remains inaccessible for Japanese users given the country’s exchange license requirements. The license has been mandatory for all crypto exchanges operating within Japan since the amendment of the country’s Payment Services Act back in April 2017, and the FSA has since then continued to ratchet up requirements for applicants.

A report from local English-language newspaper The Japan Times has today contextualized Line’s accelerating foray into cryptocurrencies and blockchain against a backdrop of sluggish user growth which has ostensibly driven the firm’s shares to their lowest since listing in 2016.

Meanwhile, the firm awaits a banking license that would authorize deeper integration of cryptocurrencies with its other services, including e-commerce, The Japan Times notes, but it is allegedly only likely to be issued in 2020.

As previously reported, Line rolled out its Link cryptocurrency in late summer 2018, and has continued to develop its token ecosystem based on the firm’s in-house service-oriented blockchain, Link Chain. The blockchain network also enables decentralized applications to be directly applied to Line’s messaging platform.

Earlier this month, Line partnered with American payment services firm Visa on new blockchain and digital payments solutions.

American social media behemoth Facebook has meanwhile this week unveiled its white paper for its libra cryptocurrency, which would — according to earlier reports — prospectively be used by the 2.7 billion monthly users of WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram.

Posted on

Japan’s LINE Pay and Visa Partner on New Blockchain, Digital Payments Solutions

LINE Pay Corp. is partnering with Visa on new blockchain and digital payments solutions.

LINE Pay Corporation, the operator of fintech services on major Japanese messaging app LINE, is partnering with American payment services firm Visa on new blockchain and digital payments solutions. The news was revealed in a press release shared with Cointelegraph on June 6.

As of Q4 2018, there were an estimated 1.66 billion Visa debit cards and 781 million credit cards in circulation worldwide. According to today’s press release, LINE counts 187 million global users monthly, with an estimated 50 million users registered its mobile payment service, Line Pay.

The two firms’ strategic partnership will reportedly herald cooperation on a wide range of services, notably including the development of new fintech solutions powered by blockchain technology that support business-to-business and cross-border payments, as well as alternative currency transactions.

In addition, LINE users will be able to apply for a digital Visa card from within the app, and be able to integrate existing Visa cards to make mobile-based payments in the future.

The firms have further announced plans to roll out new merchant-focused solutions, with support for various LINE Pay services to be rolled out at Visa’s 54 million merchant locations globally. Even where LINE Pay is not directly accepted, the press release notes that users will be able to track their merchant transactions using their LINE Pay digital wallet.

The LINE Pay digital wallet will see heightened interaction with Visa-based services in a bid to foster the growth of globally interoperable payments, the press release outlines.

As reported, David Chaum — a trailblazing American cryptographer who invented a secure, privacy-preserving digital currency back in 1982 — has recently said that he believes the real killer app for blockchain and crypto will be messaging systems integrated with payments.

Japan’s LINE — which rolled out its own cryptocurrency in late summer 2018 — has continued to develop its token ecosystem, based on the firm’s in-house service-oriented blockchain, LINK Chain. The blockchain network also enables decentralized applications to be directly applied to LINE’s messaging platform.

Visa — which has officially downplayed the competition posed to its market dominance by crypto innovators — has nonetheless begun to pursue various crypto-related strategies.

This spring, Visa partnered with major American crypto exchange Coinbase on a debit card powered by United Kingdom-based customers’ Coinbase account crypto balances. The firm has also recently published a crypto and blockchain-related job opening, seeking a Technical Product Manager at Visa Fintech in Paolo Alto.

Posted on

Line To Launch “LINK” Cryptocurrency In Expansion Efforts

Although prices throughout the crypto bucket have (somewhat) kicked the bucket, there are still legacy market firms who seem intrigued and excited at the idea of blockchain-backed assets. One such company is Line, a Japan-based internet-centric firm that has become well-known for its messaging app.

As reported by Ethereum World News, the firm announced an in-house crypto-to-crypto exchange, which goes by the name BitBox. Since its release, the exchange has done well, offering its users with low fees, and support for a variety of cryptos via a minimalistic, yet easy-to-use platform.

In a surprising move, the internet giant has shown interest towards expanding its crypto offerings, recently issuing a press release that highlighted its planned “LINK” cryptocurrency. According to The Verge, Line intends to issue the LINK cryptocurrency not via an ICO, but rather, by giving away tokens to users when they use Line services, products or complete specific requests. It wasn’t specified how exactly the payment scheme would work, but one would assume that all users of Line products have a fair chance of receiving this newly-established cryptocurrency.

This may lead you to ask — “What will these tokens be used for?”

Well, Line intends to allow LINK token holders to purchase stickers, “webtoons,” and other services within the firm’s messaging application, in a move to evidently emulate a sort-of premium or loyalty program/service.

Image Courtesy of Line

Although this may be mundane in and of itself, the Japanese firm noted that also intends to offer LINK trading support in the aforementioned Line-owned BitBox crypto exchange. The token has also been likened to Binance Coin, as LINK can be used in the place of the 0.1% fee charged by BitBox’s trading engine.

The firm intends to distribute 800 million LINK tokens over time while keeping 200 million LINK for itself in reserve, which will cap LINK’s circulating volume at a maximum of one billion tokens. It is important to note that for now, that Japan, undoubtedly one of Line’s most important markets, will be unable to access BitBox or LINK, as the Japanese Financial Services Agency (and other regulatory bodies) have not given the go-ahead for these products just yet. As it stands, users in Japan will get virtual points, which can be traded for the firm’s cryptocurrency in the future.

If this LINK venture succeeds, Line intends to eventually use the blockchain behind the LINK token to host decentralized applications (DApps) that will directly connect with the firm’s messaging app.

Speaking with CNET, Youngsu Ko, CEO of Line’s ‘Tech Plus’ subsidiary, explained the social media giant’s aspirations in the cryptosphere, writing:

“The accelerated development of the crypto economy and blockchain technologies has created a wide range of options for new types of businesses. To keep up with these trends, Line has decided to launch our own cryptocurrency and blockchain network. Line intends to be a pioneer in the blockchain/crypto field, using our status as a global mobile platform and a listed company to take the initiative with the first cryptocurrency.”

Photo by Luca Bravo on Unsplash
Girl in a jacket

loading…

Posted on

Messaging Giant LINE Is Launching Its Own Cryptocurrency

Messaging giant LINE has become one of the first publicly traded companies to have launched a proprietary blockchain mainnet with its own cryptocurrency.

Revealed in an announcement Friday, the firm said that the genesis block of its LINK Chain was produced on Aug. 23. The messaging giant now aims to gradually issue a total of 1 billion of the network’s LINK tokens, of which 800 million will be distributed to public users while the rest will be held as a company reserve.

Rather than adopt an initial coin offering model, LINE will issue the tokens as an incentive for users who participate in its decentralized applications (dapps) built on top of the LINK Chain network. According to LINE’s white paper, it is now eyeing a deadline in September for the rollout of an initial two dapps, with over 10 to be released by the first quarter of 2019.

The LINK token will be added to LINE’s newly launched BITBOX cryptocurrency exchange for trading in September, as an alternative way for users to acquire the crypto asset, the release added. The tokens can be further used as a payments means within LINE’s existing ecosystem.

The firm specified in the announcement that BITBOX is currently not a licensed exchange platform in Japan by Financial Services Agency. As such, residents in the firm’s home country are only able to receive what’s called a LINK Point for the time being, which will be exchangeable for the full crypto asset once BITBOX becomes licensed in Japan.

Intriguingly, LINE, a Japanese firm, launched the blockchain and its exchange platform via a new subsidiary established in April in Singapore called LINE Tech Plus PTE.

The launch marks the latest move by the company in seeking to integrate blockchain into its existing business ecosystem.

Early in August, LINE also announced an initiative to launch a $10 million token fund to foster development in the blockchain and cryptocurrency ecosystem.

LINE app image via Shutterstock

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

Posted on

Social Media Giant LINE Adds Tron (TRX) To Its BitBox Exchange

As reported by Ethereum World News previously, social media giant LINE announced the creation of an in-house crypto-to-crypto exchange going by the name of BitBox. In LINE’s original announcement, the firm stated that it would offer the trading of thirty cryptocurrencies at a 0.1% fee, with the press release only mentioning the largest cryptocurrencies offered. Additionally, it was noted that BitBox’s crypto-to-crypto service would be open globally, offering exchange options to consumers in all countries but Japan and the U.S.

Since our original report, BitBox has officially launched and is now home to tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of individuals looking to trade cryptocurrencies through an easy-to-use mobile platform.

But with today’s announcement, LINE has now launched support for Tron (TRX) and an unexpected $10 million token venture fund. Tron, which was recently confirmed by BitBox’s listing committee, will now be available for trading on BitBox via multiple new trading pairs, such as TRX/BTC and TRX/ETH.

To celebrate the listing of TRX, the Asian social media giant has partnered with Tron to airdrop nine million TRX tokens to all BitBox users “in a promotional event running until August 22nd.”

Youngsu Ko, the CEO of LINE Tech Plus, a Singapore-based subsidiary that runs BitBox, issued a statement on the reasoning behind this move, seeming to show an affection towards the project, writing:

“Integrating TRON (TRX) with BITBOX will enable us to connect with the world’s fastest-growing blockchain project. TRON has a solid tech platform, especially now it has joined forces with BitTorrent.”

In an additional comment, Line noted that the addition of Tron (TRX) is one of its first steps in ensuring that its customers have access to a diverse set of “coin options,” aided by an easy-to-use, efficient, and secure user-centered service. 

Closing off this segment of the press release, Tron CEO Justin Sun expressed his excitement via an impassioned statement regarding the addition, noting that the collaboration between the two firms will prove to be successful.

Line Launches “Token Venture Fund”

As aforementioned, the addition of TRX wasn’t the only announcement mentioned. LINE has also launched Unblock Ventures, which is a new subsidiary aimed at becoming a “corporate token venture fund.” The Hong Kong-based Unblock fund will be launched with a capital allocation of $10 millionUSD, and will focus on investing in token investment vehicles for the time being.

However, $10 million won’t be the be all and end all of Unblock, as LINE plans to expand the fund along with the growth of the blockchain industry. If all goes according to plan, Unblock Ventures should help to boost the development and adoption of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology throughout the world.  The firm elaborated, writing:

“By launching this new corporate token fund, LINE is aiming to boost the development and adoption of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. As such, LINE is one of the first publicly traded corporations to formalize token investments through a corporate fund.”

Photo by Chris Liverani on Unsplash

loading…

Posted on

Line Corp Establishes Cryptocurrency Exchange Service in Singapore

Line Corporation is on the verge of launching its cryptocurrency exchange service in Singapore. Takeshi Idezawa, the Line Corp. CEO announced the move during a company conference on Thursday (June 28, 2018). Line is Japan’s biggest messaging platform. It becomes the latest social media company to take an active interest in the cryptocurrency business.

Introducing Bitbox

The company’s cryptocurrency exchange platform named Bitbox will be established in Singapore. Inside sources at the company revealed to local media outlets in Japan that the platform is scheduled for launch in July 2018. Bitbox will offer over 30 different virtual currencies including Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Ethereum.

Traders will only be able to carry out crypto/crypto market transactions as Bitbox does not plan to offer crypto/fiat trading pairs. Cryptocurrency trading on the platform will attract a flat fee of 0.1 percent. Commenting on the Bitbox launch, Idezawa said:

With cryptocurrency, we are going to take our challenge in financial services global.

The services of the trading platform will be available to users from all over the world, except for Japan and the United States. There are plans to offer the Bitbox website in 15 different languages to cater to the needs of its expected global user base.

Line Corp Making Significant Strides in the Cryptocurrency Space

The company also stated it will adopt a more robust implementation of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. Idezawa mentioned that Line Corp. was serious about establishing the emerging technology as the heart of its business strategy, going forward. The plan, according to the company, is to use blockchain technology as the nucleus of the process of unifying its three core business segments – media services, commerce, and entertainment.

Idezawa also declared that the company was seeking ways of reducing its reliance on advertisement revenue. Thus, Line Corp will leverage the potentials of blockchain and cryptocurrency. The company aims to challenge for a higher market share in areas dominated by rivals such as WhatsApp. According to the company’s CEO:

There isn’t a system in place right now that can monetarily reward users’ contributions to [sic] a service. Linking service growth to compensation for contributors in a token economy could unlock a great deal of new value.

Social Media Companies and Cryptocurrency

Line Corp. isn’t stopping at establishing the Bitbox crypto exchange platform in Singapore. The company also plans to issue a cryptocurrency token as well as a Bitbox smartphone app. By so doing, the platform app will be separate from Line’s messaging service. Inside sources also report that the company has struck a deal with blockchain security firm, BitGo Inc., to provide internet security protocols for the platform. Earlier in the year, Line signed inked a partnership deal with Icon (ICX).

Line which is owned by South Korean Internet behemoth, Naver isn’t the only social media company in the crypto space. Telegram and Kik have also made significant inroads into different cryptocurrency related projects.

What do you think about Line Corp’s exchange service in Singapore? Do you think other messaging platforms will follow in Line’s footsteps? Keep the conversation going in the comment section below.

Image courtesy of phys.org.

loading…

Posted on

Messaging Giant Line to Launch Crypto Exchange in July

Line, the company behind a popular chat app in Japan, announced Thursday that will open a cryptocurrency exchange in July.

According to CNet, exchange, known as BitBox, was unveiled during a conference held this week in Japan by Line. Notably, the exchange won’t offer services to residents in Japan and the U.S. – a likely nod to the regulatory realities of working in those markets.

In an announcement release, Line said that the exchange would be purely crypto-to-crypto, meaning that it will not, at least for now, support government-issued currencies.

The messaging app company explained:

“[The] cryptocurrency exchange BITBOX is launching as part of LINE’s financial services business, providing services globally except in Japan and the U.S. 30 or more cryptocurrencies can be exchanged in BITBOX, and it will support 15 languages excluding Japanese. BITBOX only allows the exchange of cryptocurrencies, and does not accept exchange between fiat money and cryptocurrencies.”

Line’s exchange will support bitcoin, bitcoin cash, ether and litecoin among a list of “30 or more currencies” that the company said were chosen “through a rigorous review by a listing committee composed of experts.”

The move comes months after Line launched a new company dedicated to crypto services, indicating at the time that it was eyeing an exchange launch.

Its decision to exclude Japan suggests that its efforts to obtain a license from Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) is still ongoing, given that it disclosed its application back in January.

“The application process for registration as a virtual currency exchanger has already been started with the Financial Services Agency [FSA], and it is currently under review,” Line said in a statement at the time.

Image via Shutterstock

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

Posted on

Japanese Messaging Platform Line Partners with Korean Crypto Icon (ICX)

When crypto companies announce large partnerships their tokens usually head skywards. This has not been the case for South Korea’s Icon when news broke of a new partnership with Japan’s messaging giant Line. Seemingly gone are the days when a good news story or a social media shill would pump an altcoin.

According to reports Line has an estimated 200 million users, mostly in Japan and Thailand where it has become the chat app of choice. Its parent company, South Korea’s Naver, is involved in a wide range of digital communications technologies and its latest big project is blockchain. The joint venture will involve the development of a platform called Unchain which will build dApp services while expanding the ICON ecosystem.

The official announcement on the ICON’s medium page stated;

“Unchain will create a blockchain ecosystem fueled by a token economy, where the users are rewarded for their contributions to the network. DApp services discovered through ICON and Unblock, a subsidiary of LINE dedicated to blockchain research and to accelerate DApp projects, will be integrated with Unchain. This joint venture takes blockchain and decentralization another step closer to being a part of our everyday lives.”

The collaboration could potentially result in hundreds of millions of Line users adopting the ICON blockchain platform to access dApps. There has yet to be a widespread adoption of a blockchain based dApp platform by the masses however a few are striving for just that such as Tron which will be separating from the Ethereum network shortly.

This partnership signifies a solid long-term potential for adoption on a huge level which sits well with the ICON team’s motto of ‘hyperconnect the world’. The new independent blockchain lab will enable the LINE development team to start exploring the potential of the technology and its implementation into everyday software. ICON, often dubbed the ‘Ethereum of South Korea’, was the obvious choice.

Surprisingly ICX prices did not react and they have been down-trending for the past week. The digital coin has lost 9% on the week and is currently trading at $3.90 despite a huge spike in trade volume over the weekend. In the past 24 hours ICX has gained a little and is currently up 2.5% on the day, nowhere near its all-time high of $12.50 back in January.

Posted on

Messaging Giant Line to Support Dapps on Own Blockchain

Line, the Japan-based messaging app provider, is planning to build a custom blockchain aimed to boost development of decentralized apps for its platform.

The news was revealed when the company, a subsidiary of South Korea’s internet giant Naver, set out its 2018 technology roadmap at its developer event last Friday. At the event, Euivin Park, the firm’s chief technology officer, said she aims to take Line’s existing blockchain efforts a big step forward by launching a blockchain mainnet.

The platform, as envisioned by Park, would be built outside Line’s existing products and utilize the token economy to incentivize and accelerate the development of decentralized applications, either by third parties or the firm’s own developers.

To that effort, she said the company is now also moving to recruit more blockchain developers in Japan and South Korea, as well as elsewhere in Southeast Asia.

The announcement comes just days after the company launched a blockchain subsidiary, called Unblock, based in South Korea. Focusing on blockchain-related R&D initiatives, the new subsidiary was set up to integrate decentralized applications to Line’s messaging platform in a bid to add more features for users.

Back in January, the messaging giant also said it will launch a cryptocurrency exchange to be available through its Line Pay app. The project is currently going through the licensing process with Japan’s Financial Services Agency prior to a future launch.

Line app image via Shutterstock

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.