Japan’s Biggest Chat App Line Expands Cryptocurrency Offering

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Bitbox Tron

Line Corporation, a Japanese Internet firm and the operator of the country’s most popular messaging app, has added Tron (TRX) to its cryptocurrency exchange platform Bitbox. Tron is the first crypto-token to pass the review process by the Bitbox open-listing committee and joins other cryptocurrencies already available in the platform including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Ripple, and Stellar.

Bitbox, which said it was now focusing on expanding the range of options available for customers, is accepting applications from other crypto-tokens that want to join the exchange and that are prepared to undergo a thorough evaluation process.

Tron is building the infrastructure for a decentralized Internet. It launched its testnet in March, its mainnet in May, and testnet virtual machine on testnet in July. That same month, Tron acquired file-sharing software provider BitTorrent.

“Tron has a solid tech platform, especially now it has joined forces with BitTorrent,” said Youngsu Ko, CEO of Line Tech Plus, Line’s Singapore-based subsidiary that operates Bitbox. “We look forward to building a strategic partnership with Tron and offering our users the best experience available in the cryptocurrency space.”

New token venture fund

Line has also announced the launch of a new US$10 million token venture fund called Unblock Ventures. The fund will focus on token investments with an initial commitment made by LVC Corporation, another Line group company. The fund is expected to expand in the future, according to the growth of the blockchain industry.

By launching the new corporate token fund, Line said it aims to “boost the development and adoption of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology.”

Line unveiled plans to get into the fintech business earlier this year. The firm established a new company, Line Financial Corporation, as a follow-up to Line Pay and to further reinforce its position in financial services.

The new company focuses on creating and providing a variety of financial services that tackle cryptocurrencies, lending, and insurance, all from the Line messaging app.

Line is also considering applications of blockchain technology in countries with underdeveloped financial infrastructure to enable services such as the ability to pay utility bills via mobile phone.