New Virtual Currency Exchange by LINE Corporation in the Works

Reuters

Reuters

But even when Japan is one of the most bitcoin-friendly countries on earth, companies like LINE are subjects to controls and regulations. According to reports the application is now under review.

In an official press release, LINE Corporation, the company behind the LINE messaging app, announced the creation of a new company, LINE Financial Corporation (LINE Financial) as an extension of LINE Pay, a payment service already working on its messaging app.

According to the announcement, past 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. The new business will provide a way for people to exchange and transact virtual currencies, loans, and insurance via the Line app.

The app, known for electronic stickers of a brown bear and his rabbit girlfriend, is ubiquitous in Japan, Line also has a strong presence in Taiwan, Thailand and Indonesia. In comparison crypto exchange Coinbase only has around 13 million registered accounts and trading brokerage Robinhood around 3 million.

Its $1.1 billion US-Japan IPO in 2016 failed to gain traction across the rest of the world so the firm has focused on its core markets in Asia.

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.

Line could be the largest consumer-focused organization to get into crypto lately.

LINE has been expanding its ties with other financial institutions of late, with an agreement reached earlier this month with Folio, an online-based securities company, to lay the groundwork for the launch of an asset management service.

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