Naver’s Line to open cryptocurrency exchange in July

2018.06.29 14:42:42 | 2018.06.29 16:01:57

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Line Corp., Japanese subsidiary of South Korea’s leading online portal operator Naver Corp., will next month launch a cryptocurrency exchange available globally except Japan and the United States.

The exchange dubbed Bitbox will offer all the popular coins Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Bitcoincash (BCH), and Litecoin, plus more after strict selection. All trade must be in virtual coins, not cash, subject to 0.1 percent fee, the operator said.

The exchange is scheduled to open in July. It will be offered in 15 languages for worldwide users expect for those in Japan and the United States due to regulatory reasons.

The legitimate big mobile player’s entry comes at a time when the global cryptocurrency market has taken a hard hit from a series of high-profile hacking incidents this year including the nearly $500 million theft from Japanese exchange Coincheck Inc. in late January, as well as the hacking attacks at Bithumb and Conrail, both Korean exchanges, this month. The global cryptocurrency market that has been fast growing still faces a great risk of fraud and hacking due to weak system security amid a lack of regulation.

To fend off such security concerns, Line said it has taken extra measures to protect its exchange. “With the need to trade cryptocurrencies rising around the world, Line has been preparing to provide opportunities for users to do so securely, and as the secure system is in place now, the company will be offering the service,” stated the company in a press release announcing the Bitbox launch plan. It said the 30 plus cryrotocurrencies to be traded on the exchange were carefully selected “through a rigorous review” by experts.

The company, under a vision of establishing a token-based ecosystem, recently set up blockchain subsidiary called Unblock and a joint venture Unchain with global integrated blockchain network platform Icon.

Shares of Naver, Line’s parent, finished Friday 2.14 percent higher at 763,000 won ($682.76).

By Lee Sun-hee and Cho Jeehyun

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