The growing hype of the blockchain is now luring established tech firms. Following the messaging mammoth Telegram, Japan-based messaging app Line is next in line to integrate cryptocurrencies on its platform, according to a report by Bloomberg.
Line already has a payment support within the system, called Line Pay. It uses virtual currency with which users can purchase game credits and the super expressive stickers for which Line is known. Now with the integration of the cryptocurrencies, the team is aiming to engage users and keep them within the ecosystem.
According to Bloomberg’s report, Line is already in talks with multiple blockchain players to find the feasibility of the integration with Line Pay and also for the introduction of other products and services.
In 2016, Line’s IPO was a massive hit. With a dual listing on Tokyo Stock Exchange and New York Stock Exchange, the firm raised over $1.1 billion. Also, right after the listing, its share price surged 50 percent in its native Japan.
Based on the rumors of Line’s partnership with South Korean bitcoin exchange Upbit on Tuesday, speculative trading hit the market, and Line Corp’s share price surged 10 percent to a record on the Tokyo exchange.
Currently, the messaging platform dominates the Asian markets of markets of Japan, Taiwan, Thailand, and Indonesia, where it has over 168 million active users, two-thirds of Line’s user base. But since its public listings, the app has been continuously losing users – the firm claimed 218 million users before the listing, and by October ’17 had only 203 million global MAUs.
Switching to blockchain technology is becoming a trend in the tech industry. Last September, Canadian firm Kik, which has 15 million monthly users – a number much less than Line’s – raised $100 million in an ICO, This week, Mark Zuckerberg said that blockchain could be potentially used on Facebook’s platform.
With these all these advances at the start of 2018, this year is definitely going to be a big one for blockchain technology.