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03 February 2018, 01:40 | Megan Pierce
The latest company to get on the blockchain bandwagon is Japanese messaging platform Line. Line is best known for its stickers and characters that have their own merchandise outlets across Southeast Asia. As LINE has 40 million registered users, it might provide tough competition for the rest, less established companies introducing virtual currencies.
According to a statement released by the Tokyo-based company on Wednesday, the platform will link to LINE's existing mobile payment service on the platform. Last year, Line Pay saw overall volume of annual transaction rise to nearly 450 billion Japanese yen ($4,135,500,000), and registered users hit 40 million, the release claims. So the over 200 million users of the app have now something exciting to look forward to. This is a huge number, taking into account that one of the leading cryptocurrency exchanges, Coinbase, has nearly 13 million users.
The company is upping its efforts to compete with rivals Facebook which owns Messenger and WhatsApp and crypto is hot property at the moment.
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The company's business strategy with the new announcement appears to be one of domestic consolidation, rather than repeating its ill-fated previous attempts to expand in the United States and European markets. Although not being widely used in Europe and the United States, Line Pay is one of the most popular apps in Japan and other Asian countries. Thailand is also open to ICOs and crypto trading despite the presence of a ruling military junta. The hack is considered to be the biggest in the history of cryptocurrencies.
Cryptocurrencies may be down today but the markets are heating up.
Bloomberg reports that Line is also planning to expand its services into Hong Kong and Luxembourg and this would make the new cryptocurency exchange the one with the largest potential customer base.
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