Japan’s most popular chat app, with 168 million active monthly users, Line, could soon integrate cryptocurrencies. The company is reportedly in talks with a number of companies to integrate cryptocurrencies into its mobile payment service, Line Pay.
Line Could Soon Integrate Cryptocurrencies
The operator of Japan’s most popular messaging app, Line Corp, is reportedly working to integrate cryptocurrencies into its platform.
According to people familiar with the matter, the Tokyo-based company “is in discussions with multiple companies on using cryptocurrencies for payment services including Line Pay,” adding that:
The broader goal is to create products that keep users within Line’s ecosystem and keep them coming back to the app, increasing ‘stickiness.’
Line Pay is the mobile payments service used in the chat app. Launched in 2014, it has signed deals with over 30 banks across Japan to allow instant transactions using its platform, according to Mobile World Live. In May of last year, Line Pay reached 30 million users in Japan.
Line has a market value of ¥1.2 trillion (~USD$10.75 billion). The app currently has about 168 million monthly active users in its primary markets of Japan, Taiwan, Thailand, and Indonesia.
Speculation of a Collaboration with Kakao’s Upbit
Line has not named the companies it is in discussion with. However, there is “speculation that it was looking to tie up with South Korean bitcoin exchange Upbit,” according to a Bloomberg report. However, a representative for Line declined to comment on a potential alliance with Upbit.
The South Korean exchange is backed by Kakao Corporation, the operator of the country’s most popular chat app, Kakao Talk.
Since its launch in October, Upbit has rapidly gained market share in South Korea. In December of last year, the platform claimed that its volumes exceeded those of Bithumb, South Korea’s largest exchange by volume. There are currently over 120 coins listed on Upbit, thanks to a partnership with the US-based exchange, Bittrex.
Makers of chat apps around the world are starting to take notice. Earlier this week, Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology could potentially be used on Facebook’s platform.
Do you think Line will soon integrate cryptocurrencies? Do you think Kakao’s Upbit is the right partner for Line? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Line Corp, and Kakao Corp.
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