Tokyo-based free chat and messaging mobile app, Line, is gearing up to debut its cryptocurrency exchange, a few days after fellow social media giant, Facebook, took the airwaves with the news of launching the Libra cryptocurrency.
Libra virtual currency is Facebook’s cryptocurrency brainchild that threatens to change banking operations with its user-friendly requirements. Libra is a virtual currency that is under construction by Facebook, powered by a new blockchain type of platform developed by the social giant. Facebook’s blockchain technology shares similarities with the encrypted technology other virtual currencies use such as Bitcoin.
Libra is set to allow its users to buy products, send and receive funds at near zero transaction costs. Facebook will use its Calibra wallet to store the Libra virtual tokens that will be accessible on WhatsApp, Messenger, and Instagram.
Line is putting in place measures that are going to allow it to have a grip on its massive customer base by introducing several crypto-related attributes within its application.
Japan’s Largest Messaging Application Pretty Close to Offer Crypto Exchange Services
Japan’s giant internet company and popular messaging application, Line that has more than 200 million active users took to the media to report its intentions of launching their cryptocurrency exchange.
According to media reports, that quote people close to the issue, Line’s cryptocurrency exchange could be in operation within a few weeks, with the relevant authorities expected to issue them their much-awaited license to give them the green light.
The cryptocurrency exchange will be known as BitMax. Crypto followers should note the name and not confuse it with long-serving exchange BitMex. BitMax will allow 80 million Japanese users of the messaging app to buy and trade virtual assets such as Bitcoin, Ripple, Tron, and Link; the companies default virtual currency.
As the home of the now non-operational Mt Gox which was once praised in the crypto space for handling more than 70 percent of Bitcoin’s transactions in the world, Japan’s walk with virtual currencies and blockchain technologies have been nothing but tumultuous.
Despite being the most infamous, Mt Gox is not the only cryptocurrency exchange from Japan to disappear with customers’ assets with more recently, Coincheck suffering a 530 million USD hack early this year. Initially, the hack was believed to have been conducted by North Korea, but emerging reports are showing Russia might be the culprits behind the heinous act.
Japan’s Efforts to Govern Cryptocurrency Technologies
After toiling to come up with a decision on how to approach and regulate cryptocurrencies, the Japanese Financial Service Agency (FSA) has thrown in the towel and given the crypto industry the green light to govern itself since October 2018.
Following this decision, research shows that the country has undergone about 7,000 money launder situations that involve the participation of virtual currencies in the first few months of the directive.
The situation in Japan in regards to cryptocurrencies continues to be not-so-pleasing, forcing FSA officials to conduct impromptu raids to 2 cryptocurrencies exchanges to enforce anti-money laundering guidelines.
According to crypto experts, if Line is serious about servicing the Japanese market, it will need to cut a niche of trust for itself, an activity that promises not to be easy considering the country’s problematic past with cryptocurrency.
Line’s BitMax Exchange
Reports indicate that the crypto exchange, BitMax, will utilize the same back-end technology as Line’s previous Singapore-based cryptocurrency exchange, BitBox. Launched in 2018, BitBox was tailor-made for global users according to some crypto analysts as it is off limits to Japanese users due to licensing and regulation issues. At the time of writing, BitBox’s transaction volume for the day is about 2 million USD according to their website.
The growing demand and adoption of virtual currencies by large corporations is contributing to crypto prices performing positively, with Bitcoin recording price appreciation of more than double figures over the past 3-months. Line’s default virtual currency, Link has also appreciated by double digits in June alone, driving its market valuation to about 30 million USD.
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