Japan’s WhatsApp challenger Line is Getting Into Cryptocurrency and Fintech

By Line [CC BY-SA 4.0] via Wikimedia Commons

The rise of bitcoin continues…

A widely popular messaging app that is from Japan which rivals Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp called Line has unveiled plans to launch its own cryptocurrency exchange.

The tech company, which went public last 2016 in one of the largest tech IPOs of that year, has already applied to the Financial Services Agency of Japan in order to become a licensed virtual currency exchange.

The country was the first to introduce a specific regulation that is aimed at cryptocurrencies, and it is the biggest market for cryptocurrency trading.

The said move is a part of a wider one into finance, and the company will also begin offering insurance and loans, with hopes of becoming “a leader in the fintech industry.”

It said that the said expansion follows on the back of the success of the company with Line Pay, which is used by around 40m people and through which around 450bn yen worth of transactions were made during the past year. In total, it has about 200m users, largely from Taiwan, Japan, Indonesia, and Thailand.

Meanwhile, Line sold a majority stake in the mobile business of the company to Softbank for a sum that is still undisclosed. Shares in the company soared as much as four percent on the Tokyo stock exchange