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Japanese messaging giant Line officially launches its cryptocurrency exchange

Line has officially announced the launch of Bitbox, which will now cater for worldwide users seeking crypto-to-crypto trading.

Following announcements that it plans to launch its own blockchain and support dApps in future, Japanese messaging service Line has officially launched its own Singapore-based cryptocurrency exchange, Bitbox.

Line has confirmed that the exchange, which will now list thirty cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, will only support cryptocurrency trading pairs and will not accommodate fiat-to-cryptocurrency trading.

Presiding over the news, Line CEO Takeshi Idezawa commented that “LINE has built its reputation on providing a great social experience for our users, and now we intend to bring that know-how to the world of digital tokens with our BITBOX exchange.”

The exchange will now be made available to worldwide users save for those localed within the United States or Japan. The news is jarring, considering that Line’s home market will not be catered for. However, Line has submitted an exchange application to Japan’s Financial Services Agency, which is now under review.

The bid could mark something of an expansion for the service, however, in that the app caters for over an estimated 600 million registered users and 200 million monthly active users worldwide.

It remains to be seen as to whether Line may follow in Kik’s footsteps, and launch its own digital asset used as a trading pair on Bitbox.

Earlier this year, the company confirmed its intent to create a custom blockchain to support the development of decentralized apps (dApps).

Revealed at the firm’s 2018 technology roadmap, Line’s chief technology officer Euivin Park clarified that the company’s new blockchain platform would be developed outside of the firm’s existing products and would utilize the ‘token economy’ to accelerate the development of dApps – whether developed by either Line’s own staff, or by third-party developers.

Line has previously noted its ambit to “actively promote research and development of technologies such as blockchain and provide a financial service that is convenient and safe to users.”