Japanese Messaging Giant Line Corp Shows Faith in Crypto With New Exchange

Avi Rosten

Japan’s largest messaging company - Line Corp - has announced that is launching a new cryptocurrency exchange next month to be based in Singapore.

Revealed at the company’s annual strategy briefing in Tokyo yesterday, the new exchange will be called Bitbox, and will allow trading of over 30 cryptocurrencies and tokens - including bitcoin (BTC), ether (ETH), litecoin (LTC) and bitcoin cash (BCH) at a flat 0.1% trading fee.

The new exchange will be avaliable to users worldwide in 15 languages (although not for users in Japan for now), and Line Corp CEO Takeshi Idezawa explained how the new move into the crypto space will help the company expand:

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

Takeshi Idezawa

With the messaging company seeking to reduce its reliance on advertising revenue, the venture into the blockchain industry comes as part of their broader move into the financial sphere - after their creation of Line Financial Corp. in January. With plans to invest 30 billion Yen ($271 million) into fintech and AI projects, Idezawa said that he sees blockchain technology at the core of the company’s new direction.

Faith During a Difficult Market

While cryptocurrency markets seem unable to shake the bearish trend that has predominated in recent months, this latest development is a significant one - particularly given the spate of recent exchange hacks in Asia.

With Japanese exchange Coincheck experiencing an enormous $500m hack in January, and South Korean exchange Bithumb suffering the theft of over $31m just last week, a validation of the market from a large company outside the crypto space will no doubt offer some encouragement to disenchanted investors.