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LINE Almost Across the Finish Line For Getting Crypto Exchange License In Japan

LINE Almost Across the Finish Line For Getting Crypto Exchange License In Japan

LINE, Japan’s premier messaging app, is extremely close to getting a crypto exchange license from the Financial Services Agency in Japan. The Japanese financial watchdog has tightened rules and regulations around crypto exchanges following the January 2018 Coincheck hack that saw 530 million US Dollars worth of customers’ cryptocurrency lost.

Japan a bastion of crypto regulation

Due to the high profile problems faced by the country’s crypto exchanges and the forward-thinking nature of the Japanese regulatory body, Japan has become one of the best jurisdictions with regards to cryptocurrency legality.

However, this does come at a cost, as the regulations for new entrants into the cryptocurrency arena have become extremely high. This has blocked off traditional start-up avenues and has given established businesses much more incentive to get into the cryptocurrency game.

Japanese messaging giant gets in on the action

LINE is one of these businesses – a market leading social networking site in Japan that has almost total dominance in the messaging industry in Japan. They offer a number of services and have decided that right now is the best time for them to leverage their user base to become one of Japan’s leading crypto exchanges.

Their first step was opening up a crypto exchange in Singapore – where getting a license is much easier and the authorities are much friendlier towards up and coming crypto businesses. However, despite being legal in that jurisdiction they have not been able to offer services to their 80 million strong user base in Japan due to the lack of a regulatory license.

This has the potential to upset the apple cart with regards to Japanese crypto exchanges, which are generally considered some of the strongest in the world. LINE’s strong user base and their social network ever-presence in Japan can help rocket them to become of the best cryptocurrency exchanges in the country very quickly.

The management of the company certainly thinks so. They see the 80 million users who are technologically savvy and see the potential for getting as many people to try trading cryptocurrencies. The size of their userbase could help the company go beyond simple trading and pave the way for mass-market adoption of cryptocurrency in the prosperous island nation.

LINE has also applied for a banking license, which would allow them to expand their activities to becoming a payment provider as well as an exchange. This two-pronged attack is in line with their current business model as the company has already dipped its toes into the payment game with their mobile messaging app.

Whatever happens, they are sure to get at least a crypto exchange license… which is big news in and of itself. Only 19 crypto exchanges have been licensed since the FSA has tightened regulations and getting into this elite circle of businesses will help LINE grow. Grow into a company that is looking firmly to the future – a financial future based on cryptocurrency.

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      A journalist, with experience in web journalism and marketing. Ali holds a master's degree in finance and enjoys writing about cryptocurrencies and fintech. Ali’s work has been published on a number of cryptocurrency publications.