Social-Media Giant LINE Closes Its Crypto Exchange Bitfront

Japanese social-media company LINE will shut down Bitfront, a crypto exchange that it launched in 2020, according to an announcement on Monday.

LINE will now shift its focus from the exchange to its native blockchain and token.

"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," the announcement read.

New sign-ups and credit card deposits will be halted immediately, while customers will have until March 31 to withdraw funds.

Bitfront is one of several crypto companies that have been forced to cease operations during the yearlong cryptocurrency bear market. FTX filed for bankruptcy earlier this month following a liquidity squeeze. Bitcoin (BTC) was recently trading at $16,400, down from almost $69,000 last November.

In 2021, Bitfront stopped activity in South Korea because of regulatory concerns.