When it comes to cryptocurrency regulations, Japan is often considered to be at the forefront of the industry after legalizing Bitcoin as legal property and regulating cryptocurrency exchanges under the country’s Payment Services Act.
Under the Payment Services Act, any company wishing to launch a cryptocurrency business will have to adhere to strict anti-money laundering (AML) regulations, comply with the highest user and investor protection standards, and obtain a license prior to the launch of any exchange operations.
For example, when Japanese messaging app Line expressed its intentions to launch a cryptocurrency exchange based in Japan, this meant it would first need to clear the regulatory hurdles presented by the Japanese administration.
If Line is successful, it would join the ranks of just a small handful of cryptocurrency exchanges operating in the country — while the Line communication app already has 187 million monthly active users.
Based on some reports, the new Japan-based exchange will likely be called BitMax and will use the same underlying infrastructure as Line’s Singapore-based cryptocurrency exchange — BitBox.
According to initial reports, BitMax is expected to receive its operating license in as little as 30 days — with exchange services likely to go live just weeks later. However, despite initial reports, Line has issued an official statement, in which they state:
Some media have reported that LINE Corporation (“LINE”) will launch a crypto currency business in Japan. However, this is not an official announcement from LINE, and no such decision has been made.
Despite the domain BitMax.me being registered by the Line corporation back in January 2018, and the registrant country being set to Japan, the company continues to deny making any decisive plans regarding the matter.
Certainly, with BitBox already functional, it makes little sense for Line to create another exchange with another name that could divide its userbase. Similarly, operating with the same name as the already popular Chinese exchange BitMax.io is unlikely to be a clever business decision.
Nevertheless, if or when Line launches its exchange platform in Japan, it would be a step further towards its goal of introducing stock brokering options and financial services to its user base. With several prominent companies including Nomura Holdings Inc. and Mizuho Financial Group Inc. apparently involved in the project, there is no telling how the new exchange could position itself in this market.
How do you think Line’s new exchange platform would stack up against competition like Binance and Coinbase? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!