The provider of a popular messaging app in Japan, Line Corporation, has announced the launch of a new company that will provide digital currency services.
The new company, dubbed Line Financial Corporation, will provide a platform to transact and exchange digital currencies, insurance and loans, a company release states.
In a move intended to build its position in the financial business sphere, the new company will also foster research and development of technologies like blockchain, it adds.
The cryptocurrency services will be made available via Line Pay app – the corporation’s mobile money payment and transfer app. Last year, Line Pay saw overall volume of annual transaction rise to almost 450 billion Japanese yen ($4.1 billion), and registered users hit 40 million, the release claims.
The new entity is currently awaiting licensing by Japan’s authorities, Line Corp said.
According to the release:
“The application process for registration as a virtual currency exchanger has already been started with the Financial Services Agency [FSA], and it is currently under review.”
Japan has become one of the world’s most cryptocurrency-friendly jurisdictions over the last year, with rules and licensing aimed to encourage the industry while still protecting consumers.
Notably, in March 2017, the country recognized bitcoin as a legal payment method. And, six months later, the FSA started issuing operating licenses to cryptocurrency.
Line isn’t the only app maker to plan a role for cryptocurrencies. In September, social media platform Kik launched its own cryptocurrency via an initial coin offering (ICO) that raised $98 million. At the time the firm said the move could fulfill long-held business goals.
And mobile banking startup Revolut added support for litecoin and ethereum to its app in December 2017. The move followed the company’s integration of bitcoin support in July