Japanese messaging behemoth Line, which has over 500 million installs on Play Store, is set to open a new cryptocurrency exchange in Singapore to service the worldwide market excluding the US and Japan.
Bitbox and Line’s Blockchain Ambitions
Announcing the launch of the exchange, Line-backed “BitBox” is set to open in July 2018, initially handling a list of over 30 cryptocurrencies.
BTCManager earlier reported Line has recently made a series of efforts to segue into blockchain and crypto-related activities, opening a South Korean blockchain platform and creating its blockchain to support dApps.
Bitbox will offer users trading services for more than 30 of the most popular cryptocurrencies by market volume. Included on the list of supported digital coins are bitcoin, ether, bitcoin cash and litecoin among others. The Bitbox web platform will be available to users around the world in 15 different languages.
Bitbox intends to sustain its operations by charging a transaction fee of 0.1 percent, a continuation of a trend in crypto to substantially undercut the trading and transaction fees available from conventional finance platforms.
The continued venture into the crypto space by Japan’s largest messaging service might be surprising to some, but according to Line Corp CEO Takeshi Idezawa, Line Messenger’s long-term goals are served excellently by partnering with blockchain-based solutions. In his opinion, blockchain technology offers the perfect opportunity to tie together the various offerings served to users by Line including media, entertainment, and commerce.
A strategic goal of Line is to reduce its dependence on advertising revenue by expanding into the growing blockchain financial services’ sector. Leveraging this expected success, it also hopes to get a foot in the door in markets already dominated by the Facebook behemoth and its messaging services Whatsapp and MEssenger.
Giving his thoughts on Line’s strategy, Idezawa said:
“There isn’t a system in place right now that can monetarily reward users’ contributions to service. Linking service growth to compensation for contributors in a token economy could unlock a great deal of new value.”
Line World Domination?
In addition to its ambitious blockchain development plans, Line is also in the planning stage of developing its cryptocurrency that will be used to compensate and reward users for contributing content to its various media and entertainment services. Though no timeline has been given for the proposed development, Idezawa says that the proposed token will also provide third-party providers access to the platform.
A mobile app for Bitbox is also in the works, to be offered separately from Line Messenger, perhaps the most potent signifier of all that Line is planning to move full throttle into blockchain finance, pivoting away from an advert-based business model. BitGo Inc, a world-renowned provider of blockchain security services, is reportedly partnering with Line on this project.