LINE closes its crypto exchange platform BITFRONT

Japanese instant messaging app giant LINE has announced shutting down its crypto asset exchange BITFRONT, saying it needs to focus on its own blockchain-related businesses.

As of November 29, new signups and credit payments on the exchange platform have been suspended. Trading is due to be halted on December 30 and withdrawals will continue until March 31, 2023.

BITFRONT began its crypto asset trading services in 2020, mainly conducted in US dollars and catering for customers outside of Japan. It terminated its operations in South Korea in 2021 due to regulatory issues.

LINE said the latest decision was in the best interest of its own LINE blockchain ecosystem and had nothing to do with the recent collapse of major crypto exchange FTX.

It said it needed to shut down BITFRONT in order to continue growing the LINE blockchain ecosystem and LINK token economy, despite its efforts to overcome the challenges in this rapidly-evolving industry.

LINE started its blockchain business endeavor as early as 2018, when it established the “LINE Blockchain Lab” to research and develop blockchain technologies, which would include its LINE Blockchain, the LINE BITMAX crypto asset trading service similar to BITFRONT, and an NFT trading service.