LINE Cryptocurrency Exchange - A Competitor For Coinbase

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Line Corp., mobile messenger app unit of South Korea's leading online portal operator Naver Corp., announced to launch cryptocurrency exchange business in Japan as part of its strategy to create a synergy based on its top messaging platform with more than 120 million users in Japan and its financial service "Line Pay". Line already has a payments system built into its app called Line Pay with an estimated 40 million users.

Now messaging apps are also catching the crypto fever.

"With regard to the virtual currency related business, the application process for registration as a virtual currency exchanger has already been started with the Financial Services Agency, and its now under review", reads the corporate announcement released. Russian rival messaging platform Telegram with 150 million users is also looking towards a record breaking ICO to launch its own cryptocurrency and Facebook are sniffing around blockchain solutions of their own.

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Japan's Financial Services Agency, which oversees registrations of new exchanges, said on Monday it would investigate all cryptocurrency exchanges in Japan for security gaps after the hack at the Coincheck exchange. Last year, Line Pay saw overall volume of annual transaction rise to nearly 450 billion Japanese yen ($4,135,500,000), and registered users hit 40 million, the release claims.

The company's business strategy with the new announcement appears to be one of domestic consolidation, rather than repeating its ill-fated previous attempts to expand in the USA and European markets. Line Financial is an attempt by the parent company to further strengthen its position in the fintech sector. Japan is now one of the most crypto friendly nations in the region as others such as South Korea continue to clamp down.