Messaging Giant Line Launches Crypto Exchange in Japan
Takeshi Idezawa, CEO of LINE Corporation, at Shimjuku, JR Shinjuku Miraina Tower on August 8, 2017. Yoshiaki Miura

Japanese messaging giant Line launched its own cryptocurrency exchange, Bitmax, only two weeks after it received regulatory approval, the company announced in a press release.

According to the announcement, the new exchange was introduced in stages from 3 P.M. (GMT+9) on Tuesday, and will initially offer five major cryptocurrencies for trading: Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Ripple (XRP), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), and Litecoin (LTC). It also stated that Bitmex will be available to Japanese persons with a Line account, and will not charge trading fees, only a 108 yen charge for deposits and withdrawals.

The new trading platform has also been integrated with Line Pay, the company’s mobile payment service, which will make deposits and withdrawals a lot easier for its users. Access to Bitmex can be gained through the Line Wallet tab on the Line mobile app.


Line has said that security is also very important to the company, and that is why they are using a wallet developed by BitGo which will separate customer assets and the company’s assets in a cold wallet, which will be managed by a dedicated team. In order to register a new account, users will also have to go through a strict KYC process, which requires linking their bank account and submitting a form of ID, or going through the Line Pay eKYC system.

The exchange will be run by Line’s subsidiary LVC Corporation, which was the one to receive the cryptocurrency exchange license from Japan’s Financial Services Agency. The company has also said in its announcement that it currently has around 81 million monthly users in Japan alone, and 164 million world wide.

Line seems to have embraced blockchain and crypto technology in the past year. In 2018 it launched its own native cryptocurrency, called Link, and introduced the Link Chain network. Later, in June 2019, the company also partnered up with payment service firm Visa to create new blockchain and digital payment solutions.