Chat app Line is reportedly contemplating its personal cryptocurrency • TechCrunch

Tickets please, the subsequent crypto practice is about to depart. Japan-based messaging app Line is claimed to be the newest public firm to contemplate a transfer into the blockchain and cryptocurrencies, according to a Bloomberg report.

Not like a few of the extra obscure and head-scratching strikes, which embody China’s forgotten social network and an iced tea company, there can be some benefit to Line adopting a token.

The corporate already affords a cellular fee service — Line Pay — and certainly one of its staple options is a digital forex that’s utilized in its social video games and to purchase content material on its platform, together with its huge array of (very communicative) stickers.

Bloomberg reported that Line is in discussions with quite a few potential companions, together with bitcoin alternate Upbit, over doable tie-ins round Line Pay and different merchandise. The objective, the report claimed, is to make its merchandise stickier with customers.

Line didn’t reply to a request for remark.

Lack of engagement is actually a difficulty Line has encountered because it went public by way of a dual Japan-U.S. listing that raised $1.1 billion in 2016.

Line claimed 218 million monthly users in July 2016 — simply earlier than the itemizing — however that had dropped in 203 million by October 2017. The corporate additionally misplaced customers from its three core abroad markets — Indonesia, Thailand and Taiwan — for the primary time final 12 months. These international locations account for two-thirds of its customers, making it a really huge drawback.

Line’s share value received a ten % bump in Japan yesterday, however finally it stays to be seen whether or not, and certainly how, it would make the most of the blockchain.

There are already some examples. Kin, a Canada-based messenger that claims 15 million month-to-month customers, held a $100 million ICO last September aimed toward growing an ecosystem that rewards customers, content material makers and advertisers primarily based on ‘consideration.’ Telegram, which has emerged as a key platform for the crypto trade, can also be planning an ICO which TechCrunch understands could surpass $1 billion.

Line wouldn’t essentially need to conduct an ICO — the rules are nonetheless hazy for public entities — but it surely might implement attention-based tokens or the blockchain to reward customers for utilizing the messenger, making funds by way of Line Pay or taking part in its video games.

Disclosure: The writer owns small quantities of cryptocurrency

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