Messaging Giant ‘Can't Confirm’ it Is to Open ‘Six’ Crypto Exchanges
South Korean messaging app giant Line has moved to distance itself from claims that its recently established American and Singaporean Line Financial subsidies are on the verge of launching cryptocurrency exchanges.
Line was created by Naver, South Korea’s answer to Google. The internet giant remains Line’s biggest shareholder, although Line Corporation is now based in Japan, where the chat app enjoys enormous popularity.
Media outlet Money Today quotes a Naver spokesperson as saying, “It is true that Line Financial will conduct financial business operations, including exchanges, securities and insurance. But we cannot confirm that the company will be involved in the cryptocurrency industry.”
On June 7, News1 quoted an unnamed “industry official” as saying, “Line is preparing to open a total of six cryptocurrency trading sites,” adding that the company would look to pursue crypto and blockchain-related business in countries such as Thailand and Taiwan, where its chat app has already proven a hit.
Line has been expanding its blockchain technology-related operations in recent months with its newly formed Line Financial unit.
Rumors circulated earlier this year that Line could be on the verge of launching an initial coin offering (ICO), with other reports claiming the company was looking to create a cryptocurrency exchange. ICOs are illegal under South Korean law, and a number of South Korean companies have sought to launch coin offerings in nearby Singapore.
Meanwhile, media outlet Mingtiandi reports that Line Ventures, the company’s investment arm, this week joined Japan’s SoftBank and other companies by investing in a Jakarta-based blockchain company named EV Hive – an incubator for up-and-coming Indonesian blockchain and crypto startups.