Japanese messaging app Line is to establish its own cryptocurrency exchange in an effort to keep pace with popular rivals WeChat and WhatsApp by expanding further into financial services.
The exchange, dubbed Bitbox, will open for business next month, offering trading in more than 30 coins, including bitcoin, ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, and litecoin.
The trading engine will be based in Singapore, servicing a global marketplace bar Japan and the US, where regulatory difficulties and safeguarding procedures have stalled the development of new exchanges.
Line currently counts 165 million active users for its messaging app, of which 40 million take advantage of built-in payment capabilities.
“As a key part of Line’s new financial services, Bitbox shows our commitment to fulfilling the growing demand for more diverse financial options,” says chief executive Idezawa Takeshi. “With Bitbox, Line users will be able to access cryptocurrencies more easily, while also being assured of state-of-art security measures to protect their assets.”