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Another Asian Giant-backed Crypto Exchange Set to Enter U.S. Market

Tim Alper
Last updated: | 2 min read

International players are looking to move into the American cryptocurrency exchange market – with the South Korean-Japanese chat app operator Line set to open a trading platform in the country.

Source: iStock/photovs

Per Japanese media outlet Coin Post and South Korean newspaper Hanguk Kyungjae, the new exchange will be named Bitfront, and will be available in most American states.

Line, which was established by South Korean internet giant Naver, has already launched exchanges in a number of regions worldwide. However, although it has previously targeted areas where its chat app enjoys considerable popularity – namely South East Asia and Japan – the new American expansion represents a significant departure.

Line’s Singapore-based Bitbox exchange began operating in 2018, but its operations have now been relocated to the new American company, where they have been rebranded as Bitfront.

The company stated that it will launch Bitfront through a subsidiary of LVC, its cryptocurrency arm.

Bitfront will initially offer trading in bitcoin (BTC), ethereum (ETH), bitcoin cash (BCH), tether (USDT) and Line’s own cryptocurrency Link.

The platform supports 15 languages, including English and Korean.

Line won regulatory permission from the Financial Services Agency of Japan last year, and has successfully linked its Bitmax services to its chat app in Japan – where it claims to have some 83 million active users.

Other Japanese companies may be set to follow. In 2018, Coincheck operator the Monex Group stated that it was looking to expand to the United States, although no further developments have since been announced.

Meanwhile Binance.US entered the market in September 2019. At the time, Binance.US CEO, Catherine Coley said that she believes “it’s really hard to call this market saturated in the U.S.” Where the point of saturation is reached, she explained giving traditional banks as an example, is “75 years later, when we’ve got banks consolidating into about nine institutions.” But “we’re not there yet for crypto.” There are plenty more opportunities left, “whether it’s the demographics we’re going after, whether it’s the trading style we’re going after – I think there’s just a lot that people can really dig into.”

Last year, Bitstamp, a European exchange owned by a South Korean operator, successfully applied for a “BitLicense” trading license from the New York Department of Financial Services.

Article updated on 03/02/2020 to reflect the fact that per the Line FY2019 report, Line has 83 million monthly active users in Japan