Messaging Giant Line to Launch South Korean Blockchain Subsidiary

NEWS
Nikhilesh De
Apr 3, 2018 at 06:05 UTC  |  Updated  Apr 3, 2018 at 07:30 UTC

Japan-based social messaging platform Line is launching a blockchain subsidiary, just months after it announced its Line Pay service would offer cryptocurrencies, the company announced Monday.

Called Unblock, the subsidiary company will be based in South Korea and will research blockchain technology and its potential applications. The move is part of an effort to integrate those applications into its messaging platform to "add new value through technological innovation by combining blockchain technology with various services in LINE," according to an announcement on its website.

ZDNet also reports that the platform will look to connect cryptocurrency markets between South Korea, Japan and the broader Southeast Asian market.

Line Plus, the firm's mobile platform subsidiary, will eventually launch a "token economy," according to the announcement.

The news comes just over two months after the app provider first announced the Line Financial Corporation –a new company set up to act as a cryptocurrency trading, insurance and loan platform, as previously reported. Line Financial Corp., which is based in Japan, has also been tasked with researching blockchain technologies.

Line's cryptocurrency services will be offered through the Line Pay mobile app.

Line isn't the only messaging company making moves to better understand blockchain and cryptocurrency and how those technologies might be integrated into their services. Korean messaging platform Kakao launched a similar subsidiary endeavour in early March to develop new applications for the tech, though it recently denied rumors that it might offer its own crypto token.

Most notably perhaps, however, is Telegram's record-setting $1.7 billion ICO. The Russia-based messaging platform aims to launch an entire blockchain ecosystem called Telegram Open Network (TON), though details remain sparse on the project.

LINE app image via Nikhilesh De for CoinDesk

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