Japan: Instant Messaging Giant LINE Launches Crypto Wallet and Blockchain Services


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A Japanese tech player will provide crypto services to its millions of users in the coming weeks, according to a report by Coindesk.

Bringing Blockchain to Millions

Messaging giant LINE, a Japanese mega-firm with millions of users and the country’s equivalent of WhatsApp has unveiled a new crypto wallet for its users to allow them to manage cryptocurrencies and a blockchain platform where developers can issue their own tokens, tokenize digital assets and run decentralized applications (dApps).

Per reports, LINE’s development platform will further allow companies to onboard various blockchain technology-run applications to provide users with a seamless, one-stop interface for interacting with the technology.

In the launch, the firm’s LVC Corporation, its operator of the company’s crypto and blockchain businesses, and Line Tech Plus PTE unveiled the platform, officially called the LINE Blockchain Developers and BitMAX Wallet on Wednesday. The wallet services are now only available in Japan, with no info on when – or even if – they will be rolled out for a global audience.

The company has been developing and is involved in the crypto space since 2018. In that year, LINE gained global recognition for developing its native blockchain and eventually launching its LINK (ticker name LN not to be confused with Chainlink (LINK)) and starting trading it against popular assets Bitcoin and Ethereum.

LINE also has its own crypto exchange – Bitbox – which was approved for a crypto business license in September 2019. The company has also established the Line Blockchain Lab in April 2018, which has been tasked to build the LINE Token Economy.

With more than 84 million users in its messaging app, Line aims to introduce its swards of users to jumpstart the development of its token economies and accelerate adoptions of many dApps built on its proprietary blockchain platform, noted the report.

Messaging Firms Open to Crypto Offerings

Meanwhile, the company is not the only social media platform or messaging application to have plunged into the cryptocurrency and blockchain space.

Telegram – famous among crypto users and the general populace – launched its now-defunct TON token back in 2018 after raising $1.4 billion from investors in a record ICO. Even Kik, a Canadian messaging app, tried a similar offering at the time.

But regulators were quick to jump in an delay the launch of both tokens. They were met with lawsuits and action against their illegal token raises, with regulators not recognizing both TON and KIN – Kik’s proposed token – as legit security.

But so far, the ride has been easy for LINE and LN – getting them a headstart compared to other traditional messaging apps looking to make a splash in the crypto space.

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