Japan-based messaging app Line plans to launch own blockchain

Company wants to support decentralised apps

Japan-based messaging app Line plans to launch own blockchain

The Japan-based messaging app, has announced a plan to develop a custom blockchain to bolster development of decentralised apps (dapps) for its platform, industry website Coindesk has reported.

Line, which is a subsidiary of South Korean Internet company Naver, announced the news on Friday, during the company’s developers event. The plan is part of Line’s technology roadmap for 2018.

Line’s chief technology officer Euivin Park said at the event that the company was working on building a token economy by adopting blockchain technology into Line’s various features and opening dapps based on “incentive-type information services”. In addition, the company also plans to help “accelerating the development of dApp services outside of the LINE platform” and “develop its own blockchain mainnet in the near future”. In order to achieve this, Line has started to actively recruit blockchain developers in Japan and South Korea, as well as other parts of Southeast Asia.

The move aims to build upon Line’s existing efforts in the blockchain space. In late January, the company announced the launch of a new fintech subsidiary, Line Financial Corporation, to provide, among other things, virtual currency services via the Line Pay mobile product. Line added that it had already applied for registration as a virtual currency exchange with the regulator.

Earlier this month, Line launched a blockchain subsidiary based in South Korea. The new company, called Unblock, would research blockchain technology and its potential applications, Line announced in early April. Media reports at the time cited Unblock as saying that it might issue its own virtual token and act as an exchange at a later date, although the company also cautioned that was too early to discuss the matter. However, Line sent a clear message that it intended to actively invest in blockchain and take a leading role in the market.

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