Mobile messaging giant Line has received regulatory approval to start operating a new trading and payments platform for digital currencies. Bitmax is the Japanese and American version of Bitbox, a crypto trading platform that has been available to Line users since last year. Whereas Bitbox is open to cryptocurrency traders from around the world, it does not hold the required licensing in the United States and Japan, thus allowing Bitmax to fill the void.
By virtue of being a Japanese company with a considerable user base, Line's development of Bitmax is significant. With more than 80 million users between the U.S. and Japan, Bitmax has a great potential to introduce quite a few individuals to the world of cryptocurrency trading. Initially, Bitmax will allow users to purchase and trade Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Ripple, and Litecoin. The Line messaging app already operates as a digital currency wallet, which makes it easy for novice traders to get started.
Bitmax is not the only cryptocurrency service launched by Line this year. The LINE Pay Corporation, a strategic partnership forged with credit card giant Visa, rolled out in June, and it has already gotten the attention of 50 million users who can use the digital wallet for fiat and cryptocurrency payments. The prospective market for Bitmax, Bitbox, and LINE Pay features more than 185 million users around the world.
As of September 2019, the average daily trading volume on Bitbox is $7.6 million, an amount that pales in comparison to leading trading platforms such as Coinbase; however, the addition of American and Japanese Line users who can now trade on Bitmax is bound to increase this volume. Interestingly, the Link digital currency token developed by Line in 2018 will not be part of Bitmax, but the company is more interested in expanding its blockchain ecosystem than on making Link a prominent cryptocurrency.
Telegram, a strong mobile messaging competitor to Line, is currently working on launching a digital currency token based on a proprietary blockchain. The Gram token is expected to launch later this year, and it will initially be offered to 365 million Telegram users.