Japan’s most popular communication app, Line, is heading towards the country’s approval to roll out its crypto exchange in the home nation. As reported by Bloomberg on 20 June 2019, the license is expected to be issued by Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) within this month. If so, the operations are lined up to kick off a few weeks post the regulatory authorization.

The platform, dubbed as BitMax, will extend trading facilities to about 80 million users in Japan. This will enable trading of major cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin including Line’s own token, Link, the report claimed. Line’s shares spiked up by 4.6% post the report.

About a year ago, Line launched the crypto exchange, BitBox. The platform, however, was denied approval by Japan and the US which rendered its services unavailable to the countries. BitMax has been designed to use the same back-end technology as BitBox.

The report stated that Line has another banking license on halt in Japan which is unlikely to be issued anytime until next year. The issuance of the above said license will bring forth a tight amalgamation between cryptocurrencies and services such as online shopping.

In March 2019, the FSA granted a license to tech giant Rakuten’s crypto exchange, which replaced Everybody’s Bitcoin Inc, acquired by the company for USD 2.4 million. Yahoo Japan’s crypto exchange Taotao was launched on 30 May 2019 after receiving approval from the FSA.

However, the FSA has been tightening its anti-money laundering regime to inspect crypto exchanges in accordance with the FATF inspection in a bid to up its financial security framework. This has been Japan’s top priority to avoid criticism from the intergovernmental watchdog as the country chairs this year’s G-20 summit to be held on 28 and 29 June. This is clearly reflected in the fact that as of March 2019, only 19 crypto exchanges had received a license from the FSA as opposed to the 190 applications received by the agency in 2018.


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