On a daily basis, varying sectors in the contemporary society adopt cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. Sometimes, even the most weirdly strange and inconceivable industries, such as mobile chatting platforms conform to this populist trend. The latest entrant to this frenzy is Line, an Asian-based instant messaging application.
With an active membership of close to 170 million people, Line is undoubtedly the most common smartphone messenger application in Japan. Recently, it has been rumored that Line Corporation has been closely following the crypto fanfare and is keen to jump onto the bandwagon. Purportedly, the company has held private meeting with some of leading enterprise in the digital currency world as they look to integrate blockchain technology in their mobile payment platform, Line Pay.
Besides keeping up with technological trends, the other main reason for incorporation of cryptocurrencies is to develop products that appeal to users of the Line ecosystem. This will in turn boost customer’s confidence in the platform, making them loyal and longstanding members.
Line Pay, a subsidiary of the Line app, is an exclusive mobile payment platform. Since its inception four years ago, the project has entered into deals with 30 financial institutions across Japan. According to Mobile World Live, this deals enable the banks to use the platform to conduct seamless and instant transactions. Last years, Line Pay reached the remarkable milestone of 30 million registered users. As a result, the market values soared to a record high of ¥1.2 trillion, which is equivalent to $10.75 billion. A majority of the app’s users are from the Far East, primarily Japan, Taiwan, Indonesia and Thailand.
Up to now, Line has chosen to keep the identity of the cryptocurrency companies they are negotiating with a secret. Nonetheless, strong speculations allege that South Korean Bitcoin exchange Upbit is the number one contender for the looming partnership. These reports appeared on the renowned online business journal, Bloomberg. The reaction of Line to these assertions is somewhat indicative that something is cooking, as they remained coy and declined to issue their stand on the matter.
The Seoul-based exchange draws its funding from Kakao Corporation, which happens to be the proprietor of Kakao Talk, Line’s equivalent in South Korea. While Upbit only launched late last year, its performance has been impressive, gaining massive traction and market share in its native South Korea. Last December, Upbit’s top hierarchy asserted that its volumes has surpassed those of Bithumb, the country’s leading cryptocurrency exchange by volume. As of now, Upbit boats of a remarkable listing of over 120 digital currencies, a mark that is heavily accredited to the partnership with the globally renowned US exchange, Bittrex.
This impending move by Line is likely to spur a chain reaction among chat apps worldwide, as more of them will want to integrate cryptocurrencies. Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s owner, stated that they are considering the possibility of ingraining blockchain technology and virtual money to the world’s most popular social network.