Japan’s Retail Giant Rakuten Officially Launches Crypto Exchange

Confirmed in a press release on Aug. 19, Rakuten Wallet, which is a subsidiary of Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten, said spot trading of three cryptocurrencies — Bitcoin, Ethereum (ETH) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) — was now live.

Japanese cryptocurrency exchange Rakuten Wallet has launched trading a year after acquiring Everybody’s Bitcoin.

Rakuten acquired Everybody’s Bitcoin in August 2018 for a sum of $2.4 million. Executives had originally announced the impending launch in April this year, but progress appeared to stall.

Three trading pairs go live

In future, developers plan to release an app for iOS and Android, use of which will be mandatory for deposits and withdrawals.

“Customers who already have a bank account with Rakuten Bank will be able to easily open a Rakuten Wallet account simply by entering the required information on the online application form”, the press release added.

Japan’s cryptocurrency ecosystem growing rapidly

The exchange joins a rapidly expanding ecosystem on the Japanese market, with multiple competitors vying for a slice of the domestic cryptocurrency trade.

Last month, Tokyo announced it wished to create a cryptocurrency-based analog to SWIFT, the global payment settlement network, in a move subsequently approved by the G7.

Monex Group, the online broker which bought out another Japanese exchange, the embattled Coincheck, last year, also recently signalled its desire to join Facebook’s Libra digital currency network.

Japan Grants Crypto Exchange License to Messaging Giant LINE

LVC Corporation, the digital asset- and blockchain-focused arm of Japanese messaging giant LINE, has obtained a crypto exchange operating license from Japan’s financial regulator.

The news was reported by Cointelegraph Japan on Sept 6.

Trading for 5 major cryptocurrencies

As previously reported, LVC Corp.’s trading platform, to be dubbed BITMAX, will enable Line’s 80 million users in Japan to buy and sell multiple major cryptocurrencies. According to CT Japan, the FSA has authorized the trading of Bitcoin, Ether (ETH), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Litecoin (LTC) and XRP on the platform.

Per a press release recently shared with Cointelegraph, LINE counts 187 million global users monthly, with an estimated 50 million users registered its mobile payment service, LINE Pay.

In July 2018, LINE had launched the Singapore-based, global user-focused crypto exchange BITBOX — and will reportedly repurpose the platform’s back-end infrastructure for its Japanese FSA-approved platform BITMAX.

Due to Japan’s crypto exchange license requirements — in force since the amendment of the country’s Payment Services Act in April 2017 — BITBOX is not accessible for Japanese traders.

LINE’s native token and mainnet

LINE  launched its native Link cryptocurrency in late summer 2018 and has since continued to develop a token ecosystem based on its service-oriented blockchain, Link Chain.

The blockchain network also allows for decentralized applications to be directly applied to Line’s messaging platform.

LINK was listed on BITBOX in October 2018. While previous reports indicated that BITMAX, too, will support LINK trades, CT Japan has not indicated that the FSA has formally authorized the token in its list of approved cryptocurrencies for the forthcoming platform.

This June, LINE partnered with American payment services firm Visa on new blockchain and digital payments solutions.

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