Japan-based Chat App Line is Considering Its Own Cryptocurrency

Faith Obafemi
Jan 10, 2018

Usual players in the blockchain industry who have Introduced their own cryptocurrency have always been privately held companies. However, in 2017, public companies and even governments have made known their intention to make a move into this fast developing industry by issuing their own cryptocurrency.

The latest public company with possible plans to come on board the crypto train, according to Bloomberg, is Japan-based Chat App company, Line. The new development has received positive reactions considering Line had previously failed at launching an iced tea company and some other virtually nonexistent social media app. Perhaps, these positive reactions stem from the widely known astronomical ROI (Return On Investment) that cryptocurrency alone can bring.

Apart from its chat app and messaging platform, Line has a FinTech product called Line Pay which offers mobile payment services. Line Pay won the heart of users by having a feature that allows you to buy its products and content with virtual currency. Line also sells its games and messaging stickers using virtual currency on Line Pay.

Reports from Bloomberg have it that Line is in talks with several potential partners like Upbit, a bitcoin exchange, over possible ways to repackage Line Pay and other products to support cryptocurrency. Line is reportedly doing all these with the aim of retaining its customers with whom they haven't been consistently communicating with for a long while now. Since 2016 when Line raised $1.1 billion after going public via a dual Japan-US listing, the company's PR has been practically nonexistent.

Lack of public communication could be cited as the cause of the company's drop in value from $218 million in 2016, before it was listed, to $203 million in 2017. On market share, Line lost a big part of their market share in the four countries they dominate; Thailand, Japan, Indonesia and Taiwan. This was a deep blow to the company.

Perhaps, in a bid to save itself from impending financial woes, Line has decided to venture into cryptocurrency. Judging from the positive reactions, including a 10% upward pull in value in Japan, everyone is optimistic this would be a success. Nevertheless, it is not yet known how exactly how they intend to raise money through blockchain and cryptocurrency.

Line isn't the only messaging app company testing the crypto waters. In fact, Kik, a Canadian messaging app just swam the ocean and raised $100 million from it's ICO  conducted in September 2017. Telegram, the most popular instant messaging app in cryptoverse has already announced plans to conduct an ICO that TechCrunch reports that it would raise over $1 billion.

Its not yet clear if Line would actually conduct an ICO for its fundraising, because of the grey legal areas involved. Nevertheless, it's possible for the company to issue tokens as a reward to its users when they use the messaging app, play games, make payments via Line Pay or purchase their other products.

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