Japan-based mobile messaging app Line is said to consider a move into the blockchain and cryptocurrencies, according to a Bloomberg report.
The messaging provider is in discussions with multiple companies on using cryptocurrencies for payment services including Line Pay, according to people with knowledge of the matter. The broader goal is to create products that keep users within Line’s ecosystem and keep them coming back to the app, increasing “stickiness,” they said.
Line, with a market value of 1.2 trillion yen ($10.6 billion), joins a growing list of businesses looking to capitalize on both the technology and the hype surrounding bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. By integrating digital money services deeper with its app, the company is seeking to fend off challenges from larger rivals like Facebook Inc. and Snap Inc.
Line, known for its cute and expressive stickers that people share with each other, has been shifting its business toward advertising in recent years, beating analyst profit estimates in the latest quarter. The company has 168 million monthly active users in its main markets of Japan, Taiwan, Thailand and Indonesia. Besides messaging, it offers services ranging from food delivery to job searches and online video streaming.