Line Corporation, the Tokyo-based company operating the chat app with over 200 million monthly users, has announced it is going to launch a cryptocurrency exchange. The company has already filed an application for registering a new trading platform and is currently awaiting approval from the Financial Services Agency (FSA).
“With regard to the virtual currency related business, the application process for registration as a virtual currency exchanger has already been started with the Financial Services Agency, and it is currently under review,” the press-release reads.
In addition to cryptocurrency trading, Line is planning to provide a range of other financial services, including digital currency transactions, insurance, and loans. Earlier this month, Line opened a new subsidiary, Line Financial, that will operate these services and will help the company to expand its financial business.
Moreover, the company will facilitate research and development of innovative technologies, such as blockchain. “LINE hopes to become a leader in the FinTech industry as the world moves increasingly towards a cashless wallet-less society,” the company noted.
The cryptocurrency trading services will be integrated into Line Pay, the company’s own mobile payment app. 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.
Last year, the payment service showed significant growth, reaching JPY 450 billion, or about $4 billion, in transaction volume and attracting more than 40 million users. This is a huge number, taking into account that one of the leading cryptocurrency exchanges, Coinbase, has almost 13 million users.
Line is not the only messaging app that is planning cryptocurrency adoption. Kik messenger has recently raised nearly $100 million during an ICO conducted earlier this year. Another chat app, Telegram, has unveiled plans to raise record $2 billion in a crowdsale that will be launched this March.
Overall, Japan is known for being one of the friendliest countries towards digital currencies and bockchain technology. Its national currency is one of the most used currencies in the bitcoin market, followed by the US Dollar and Euro. Moreover, Japan’s Financial Services Agency has already granted licenses to 16 companies operating exchanges in the country.
In late December, Japan’s leading Internet services provider, GMO Group, launched cryptocurrency mining in Northern Europe, aiming to contribute to the development of virtual currencies.
The Line’s announcement comes just a few days after Tokyo-based trading platform Coincheck announced it lost about $530 million in NEM cryptocurrency as a result of the hacking attack.