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Cryptocurrency exchange Bitfront, which is owned by Japanese messaging giant Line, is planning to completely shut down its services by March 2023, the company said in a press release on 28 November

According to the announcement, the closure of Line’s United States-based cryptocurrency exchange was due to it facing challenges in the industry and the current crypto bear market. The company explained that the decision had nothing to do with the ongoing scandal surrounding the FTX exchange, and was taken for the “best interest” of the Line ecosystem. The company said in its notice:

“Despite our efforts to overcome the challenges in this rapidly-evolving industry, we have regretfully determined that we need to shut down Bitfront in order to continue growing the Line blockchain ecosystem and Link token economy.”

In order to have minimal impact on its users, Bitfront will gradually suspend its services over time, starting with the closure of new signups and credit card payments on 28 November. The exchange plans to suspend additional deposits and interest payments of LN/LN interest products by mid-December, and by the end of the month stop all trading, cancel open orders, and suspend all crypto and fiat deposits. Comlete suspension of withdrawals will happen on 31 March, 2023.

Although it is closing down its exchange business — which was founded in 2018 as BitBox in Singapore, and in 2020 moved to the U.S. and rebranded as Bitfront — Line will continue to operate its other blockchain and crypto ventures, such as the LINE blockchain ecosystem and Link (LN) token. The company also clarified that the closure of Bitfront had nothing to do with the ongoing FTX scandal.

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