Japan’s biggest messaging app Line said Wednesday it was launching a financial services spinoff to allow users to exchange and trade virtual currencies.
The transactions will be made inside the messaging app, which already incorporates a mobile payment system.
Line has a relatively small presence in the US and Europe, but is hugely popular in Japan and several other countries in Asia, where cryptocurrencies like bitcoin are heavily traded.
Line said it had already begun the process of registering its new virtual currency business with Japan’s Financial Services Agency, which regulates cryptocurrency exchanges in the country.
Its shares rose on the announcement, closing up 2.57 percent.