LINE’s Blockchain Division Obtains a Japanese Crypto License


More and more technology companies seek to enter the cryptocurrency industry. Whereas a lot of efforts meet regulatory resistance, things are handled differently in Japan. LBC Corporation, the blockchain division of the LINE messaging app, received its cryptocurrency license by the FSA this week. Bringing crypto trading to its 80 million users now becomes a possibility.

A Good day for LVC Corporation

It is well-known how the parent company of LINE has kept its eye on the cryptocurrency industry. For some time now, there has been a rumor regarding the creation of a new cryptocurrency. To this date, the company already owns one virtual currency, called Link. While such projects are often less than successful, it is still an option worth exploring. Now that LVC Corporation has received a crypto license, things will undoubtedly get very interesting.

One has to keep in mind crypto licenses aren’t given willy-nilly. Firms in Japan need to go through a rigorous application process. Even then, there is no guarantee their application will receive a positive outcome. For LVC Corporation, this venture has proven to be successful. It is now only of under two dozen licensed crypto service providers in Japan. There is still a lot more competition to come. 

Running a Crypto Exchange

By obtaining this license, LVC Corporation can begin offering its crypto services. Contrary to what some may expect, they will not issue another digital currency. Albeit that option might be explored later on, it is not the primary objective for the parent company. That in itself shows some tech companies know it is not in their best interest to create virtual currencies just for the sake of doing so. After all, they also own the Link currency, which is only compatible with the social media app. 

Instead, the team will run a cryptocurrency exchange called BitMax. It will apparently support just five different currencies. That list includes Bitcoin, Ethereum, BCH, Litecoin, and XRP. It would mark a milestone for the company, as this will be the second trading platform operated under the same umbrella. The other venture is known as BitBox. This Singaporean exchange has been in operation for a few months already. 

Link is Not a Libra Clone

There are key differences between Link and Facebook’s Libra. The latter is advertised as a global currency which should make traditional financial tools obsolete. Some sources claim one won’t even need a bank account or payment card to spend and sue Libra. Very bold claims for a project which has not received regulatory approval in any market and may not launch for quite some time to come. 

Link, on the other hand, is closely linked to the existing Line network. It is a virtual currency which can be used within the app ecosystem, but not beyond. Now that this crypto license has been obtained, things may change dramatically. Making it a permanent payment tool across Japan will remain a  very steep challenge. Trading of this currency could be added to the app, albeit it is not on the list of supported currencies for BitMax at this time. 

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