In order to make Line products stickier with users, Chat app Line is reportedly considering a new step into Cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology
After introducing services like food delivery, job searches, and online video streaming, Line is ready to make its next big move. The aim of these changes is to reward its 168 million monthly active users, content curators and advertisers across its main markets of Japan, Taiwan, Thailand, and Indonesia.
Ever since Line went public via a dual Japan-U.S. listing that raised $1.1 billion in 2016, it’s been struggling to retain user engagement. For the first time last year, the company lost many of its app users from its core markets, incurring a loss of nearly two-thirds of its users. In order to resolve this issue and make Line products stickier with users, the company is working to integrate cryptocurrencies into its messaging platform. The new changes will be featured in Line’s staple feature- Line Pay. It is the virtual currency offered by Line in its social games and to buy content such as stickers on its platform.
Line, with a net worth of 1.2 trillion yen ($10.6 billion) is keen on capitalizing on both the technology of cryptocurrencies and the hype surrounding bitcoin. The Tokyo-based company, Line Corp. is in discussions with a number of potential partners, including bitcoin exchange Upbit, over possible tie-ins around the app’s payment services. Speculations, however, denied by Line representatives state company’s potential alliance with South Korean bitcoin exchange Upbit. The key aim of these efforts by the company is to create products that not only engage users within Line’s ecosystem but retain them in the, despite the emergence of other competitors.
Line isn’t the only messenger app that’s making a move in cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. Tech giants like Facebook is also experimenting with the cryptocurrencies and could potentially integrate it into Facebook’s platform. Last year, Waterloo, Ontario-based messaging app Kik Interactive Inc. too raised $100 million through an initial coin offering and use the funds for integrating blockchain technology into its platforms. Although many investors have criticised the market’s interest in cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology as a fiasco bubble for funneling excess into the stock market. Yet the Companies like Long Island Iced Tea Corp. (now Long Blockchain Corp.) and Seagate Technology Plc, have seen a huge surge in their shares over the course of last two years. Line’s share price got a 10 percent bump in Japan yesterday, but ultimately it's yet to be seen how the company will utilize the blockchain technology and the effects it’ll entail.
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