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Japan’s Messaging Giant LINE to Trial Crypto Payments for Online Merchants

LINE is aiming to increase the usage of its native crypto LINK (LN) and will begin trialling the token’s use in payments via its messaging app.

A subsidiary of the Japan-based messaging giant LINE Corporation will begin trialing its native token for use in payments to select merchants via its messaging app.

LINE Pay, the operator of the company’s digital wallet and fintech services, will be tasked with connecting LINE’s LINK (LN) token (not to be confused with ChainLink’s LINK token) with its payment solution, according to a statement Tuesday.

LINE said it is aiming to expand users’ “payment options, increase convenience, and grow the real-life usages” for LINK. It is the first time since 2020 that the messaging giant has made significant efforts to push ahead with its crypto efforts.

Trials will commence March 16 through Dec. 26, enabling customers to use LINK at LINE Pay online merchants in the same way LINE Points are transacted, the company said. The company’s blockchain network will be used for the trial.

As of Q3 2020, LINE’s messaging app boasted roughly 84 million monthly active users in its domestic market, around 66% of Japan’s total population.

The company has been quietly building its payment infrastructure after launching its native token back in 2018.

Last year, LVC, LINE’s crypto exchange operator and blockchain business unit, debuted a crypto lending service, allowing users to lend bitcoin and other cryptos to its BITMAX exchange in return for a rental fee.

LN, whose market cap stands at $867.8 million, is changing hands for $144.2 and is up 23.8% over a seven-day period, according to data by provider CoinGecko.