Japanese messaging app Line seeks cryptocurrency exchange licence

By: Michael Harris
Michael Harris
Specialising in economics by academia, with a passion for financial trading, Michael Harris has been a regular contributor to… read more.
on Jan 31, 2018
Updated: Mar 11, 2020

Line Corporation, the Japanese company that operates the popular messaging app Line, announced today that it had established a new company that would provide virtual currency services. The launch of the new company, Line Financial Corporation, is a follow-up to its Line Pay mobile money transfer and payment service, which was built on top of the messaging app.

According to the announcement, last year Line Pay saw significant growth, with its global annual transaction volume exceeding JPY 450 billion ($4.1 billion) and its user base exceeding 40 million registered users. Line Financial is an attempt by the parent company to further strengthen its position in the fintech sector. The new business will provide a way for people to exchange and transact virtual currencies, loans, and insurance via the Line app. In addition, the company aims to actively promote research and development of technologies such as blockchain.

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“LINE hopes to become a leader in the FinTech industry as the world moves increasingly towards a cashless wallet-less society,” the company said.

Line added that it had already applied for registration as a virtual currency exchanger with the regulator and its application “is currently under review”.

Line isn’t the only app maker that has attempted a move into the cryptocurrency space. In September, Canadian messaging app Kik launched its own token via an initial coin offering (ICO). The tokens were meant to be used for services on the Kik platform. The token sale attracted more than 10,000 investors in 117 countries, raising around $100 million.

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