And that’s the bottom line! Another day, another cryptocurrency launch. Or well, news of, rather. Line, the popular messaging app is set to launch its own digital currency.
In an effort to make payments more flexible.
We are finally starting to see the complete switch towards blockchain and decentralized currency, as more and more companies are entering the crypto game. Line, is the latest entrant in the market, and plans to follow the track that another messaging application Telegram is pursuing.
But while Telegram wants to hold an ICO, Line wouldn’t necessarily have to conduct one. It is a public entity, and regulations are still hazy for these companies.
Line, in case you’re not aware, already has the Line Pay system — a virtual currency that users can use to pay for services. As in the earned coins can be used to buy digital goods and participate in social games through the application.
And stickers, users can also buy stickers from the app using these coins.
Now, according to this report, Line is considering a move into the world of blockchain and cryptocurrencies. And the best part is that unlike some recent head scratching moves, there are some merits to the company adopting a token.
The big idea is to keep users coming back to the platform.
The big idea
Line has definitely seen a lack of engagement since it went public in 2016, with the dual Japan and US listing raising $1.1 billion for the company. It claimed 218 million users in July of that year, just before the listing, but that had dropped to 203 million by October 2017.
Worse yet, the company also lost users for the first time ever last year from four of its core markets, namely Japan, Indonesia, Taiwan, and Thailand. The fact that these countries make up two-thirds of its user base, makes it a very big problem.
A very big problem that demands a very big solution.
And that, obviously, is expanding its horizon by making trades and purchases more flexible. The company may reward its users in coins for using the messenger, playing games on the platform, or making payments through Line Pay.
According to reports, Line is looking for partners like Upbit that deal in cryptocurrency exchange. This is a South Korean Bitcoin exchange, and a potential alliance between the two companies seem to be forming.
The next step
Line still has a market value of 1.2 trillion yen, which translate to $10.6 billion. And although it has gained market share back in Japan, the best way forward for the business is to capitalize on both the technology and hype surrounding Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
More so, when you consider that that Line is involved in other areas besides messaging, ranging from food delivery to job searches and online video streaming.
Making the move to blockchain and integrating digital money services deeper within its app will help Line fend off challenges from larger rivals like Facebook and Snap. The broader goal being to create products that keep users within the Line ecosystem, and keep them coming back for more.
Increasing the stickiness, as they say.
Line shares surged 10% on Tuesday to a record in Tokyo on the back of this news, but ultimately it remains to be seen how it will utilize blockchain to its advantage.
In any case, the only way to find out is to get in the game.
And it certainly looks like Line is ready to.