LINE, the messaging app giant from Japan, has unveiled plans that will see it launch an ambitious, token-powered ecosystem by the end of 2018.
Aimed at capitalizing on the company’s big user base – LINE claims to have more than 164 million monthly active users across four key countries – the plan is centered around its previously announced LINK token. Supported by a $10 million venture fund and a newly-launched cryptocurrency exchange, LINE has already said that its initiative will focus heavily on the development of decentralized apps, or dApps, that are tied to the LINK blockchain.
The plan, as a whole, represents one of the more notable enterprise-level efforts of 2018 to apply blockchain to mainstream use cases. LINE is hoping that its LINK token will serve as the fuel for a wide range of consumer-facing applications, from payments for restaurants and other services to the serving of online content.
In a presentation given during CoinDesk’s Consensus: Singapore event on September 20, LINE said that its goal is to make token and accompanying applications as easy to use as possible in a bid to migrate some of those millions of users to its nascent crypto-economy.
The idea is that, rather than distributing LINK tokens through some kind of sale, users will be rewarded through the use of dApps. Developers, in turn, can use the company’s blockchain-as-a-service to develop applications of their own.
LINE’s scaling solution
Perhaps more ambitious is LINE’s plan for supporting the scalability of its platform.
Dubbed the LINEAR NETWORK, the plan would see dApps existing on their own so-called “leafchains” that exist on their own but are capable of interacting with other offshoots. LINEAR will be underpinned by the LINK token, which can be exchanged from chain to chain by way of smart contracts.
LINE expects to go live with its framework for the LINK token as well as the LINEAR NETWORK in December, according to the company’s presentation.
And as reported previously, LINE is already moving to shore up its developer resources ahead of that kick-off – signaling that it will seek to have a number of dApps in place prior to launch.
EDIT (12:16 UTC, Sept. 20, 2018 ): This article has been updated to correct the claimed number of LINE users from 160 million to over 164 million.