Japan's LINE Granted License to Launch Cryptocurrency Exchange

Neil Dennis

Japanese messaging company LINE has been granted a license by the country's financial regulator to launch a domestic cryptocurrency exchange.

Reported by Coindesk Japan, the Financial Services Authority said on its website that the license registration was completed on September 6 by LVC Corp, the company that operates LINE's digital asset and blockchain units.

It was cited by company sources in June that the exchange would be called BitMax, and would use the same back-end technology as BitBox, the Singapore-based crypto exchange that LINE launched for global users last year.

Token Economy

LINE is aiming to build a "token economy" around its blockchain LINK Chain and will provide two offerings: LINK Point in Japan and LINK, which is already available to overseas customers on the BitBox exchange. 

LINE is among a growing number of tech and social media groups to launch into the cryptocurrency sector aiming to monetize their millions of users by connecting them to service providers. It was reported in June that LINE had also applied for a banking license, which remains pending, but the company was granted an internet-only banking license in Taiwan last year.

In a previous version of this story, we reported erroneously that the tokenized product to be offered in Japan was called LINE Point. LINE Points is not part of the token system - it is a separate product similar to earning credit card points that can be traded in for various rewards.