LINE Crypto Exchange Launches in Japan to 80 Million Users

LINE crypto cryptocurrencies exchange BitMax bitcoin ethereum litecoin ripple

Messaging app LINE has launched its cryptocurrency exchange in Japan, giving access to crypto for 80 million users through the platform for the first time.

The launch comes just a matter of days after the exchange won the approval of regulators, and will allow the messaging platform to offer access to buying and selling a range of cryptocurrencies through the app.

The new exchange, known as Bitmax, currently allows users to send and receive five major cryptocurrencies: bitcoin, bitcoin cash, ethereum, litecoin and ripple.

The service is open to Japanese residents with a LINE account, and charges no fees for trading. Users pay a small transaction fee of 108 yen for deposits and withdrawals to their account.

Users are required to undergo KYC processes, as with any other regulated exchange, though LINE says the process is as streamlined as possible. An ID card and a registered bank account are all that users require to set up their accounts for the first time, before gaining full access to the exchange.

LINE is powered by a wallet developed by BitGo, which automatically segregates client funds. Assets are held in cold wallet storage for maximum security, with a dedicated team responsible for ensuring the integrity of funds held in wallets on the platform.

The service is distinct from Bitbox, the Singapore-based service also owned by the company. While BitBox has been in operation since July of last year, the service remains unavailable to residents of the U.S. and Japan.

The rollout of the LINE exchange means over 80 million Japanese users will have access to crypto markets, wallets and payments from their device for the first time. The move is expected to boost adoption and usage of cryptocurrency across the country, at a time of increasing interest in crypto payments among consumers.

Based in Shinjuku, LINE is majority-owned by South Korean firm Naver. The app currently serves some 81 million users in Japan, with 164 million users worldwide.

The exchange is run through a subsidiary, LVC Corporation, which received regulatory approval in Japan from the Financial Services Agency on September 6.