Blockchain News 31 January 2018

Japanese messaging giant Line to launch a cryptocurrency exchange

Japan’s biggest messaging service announced today – its plans to start and operate a cryptocurrency exchange, to be enabled within its chat application that is ubiquitous among its 200 million monthly active users worldwide.

The Tokyo-based chat app confirmed that it has filed an application with the Financial Services Agency (FSA) – Japan’s financial regulator – to register and launch a cryptocurrency exchange. The application is currently under review.

The messaging giant’s initiative to offer cryptocurrency trading comes alongside the launch of a new company called Line Financial, which will also delve into offering financial services to users.

Line Financial follows Line’s already-popular mobile money transfer and payment service Line Pay, a service enabled within Line’s messaging app. In 2017, Line pay topped 40 million registered users globally with annual transaction volume exceeding ¥450 billion ($4.1 billion).

Bitcoin exchange Huobi will open US office

China-based Huobi, previously one of the country’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, plans to launch an office in San Francisco.

Chief Strategy Officer Cai Kailong said “Huobi is looking to grow internationally… the U.S. will be our focus right now.”

Huobi is building new headquarters in the Silicon Valley area, characterizing the push as a fast-paced one, according to a spokesperson for the company.

Last month, Huobi announced it was partnering with the investment company SBI Group to launch a pair of cryptocurrency exchanges in Japan in order to offer yen-based services.

SBI Virtual Currencies and Huobi Japan have not announced any firm timelines for their respective launches.

South Korea’s finance minister: No plans to ban cryptocurrencies

South Korea’s finance minister said the government has no plans to shut down cryptocurrency trading, welcome news for investors worried that authorities might go as far as China’s tough action in blocking virtual coin platforms.

The comment by Kim Dong-yeon on Wednesday comes as traders at home and around the world have been spooked by conflicting comments from government officials in South Korea, a major hub for cryptocurrency trade, that Seoul was planning to ban local digital coin exchanges.

“There is no intention to ban or suppress cryptocurrency (market),” Kim said, adding the government’s immediate task is to regulate exchanges.

Reinforcing Seoul’s intent to tighten the screws on a market widely seen as opaque and risky by global policymakers, the country’s customs earlier on Wednesday announced it had uncovered illegal cryptocurrency foreign exchange trading worth nearly $600 million.

“Customs service has been closely looking at illegal foreign exchange trading using cryptocurrency as part of the government’s task force,” it said.

Blockchain News 31 January 2018

Author: Sara Bauer

Prospects of Mining in 2018