Japanese Messaging Giant Line to Build LINK-Powered Ecosystem by Year End

Line has disclosed details about its crypto token ecosystem plan.

Line, the popular Japanese instant messenger application that entered the crypto space earlier this year, plans to build a token-powered ecosystem by the end of 2018, the company announced on Thursday at CoinDesk’s Consensus: Singapore 2018 event.

Dubbed the Linear Network, the ecosystem will be underpinned by Line’s recently-introduced LINK token. The company’s concept is to distribute its native cryptocurrency through an incentive system. Users will receive LINK tokens as a reward for using decentralized apps (dApps) tied to the LINK blockchain. They will also be able to exchange them from chain to chain by way of smart contracts. Developers, in turn, can use the company's blockchain-as-a-service to develop applications of their own.

Line further revealed that its goal is to make LINK and the associated dApps as easy to use as possible, thus encouraging the wider adoption of the token and the blockchain technology behind it. The firm added that it hopes the initiative will fuel a wide range of consumer-facing applications for payments related activities. The project is supported by Line’s $10 million venture fund and Line’s Singapore-based cryptocurrency exchange Bitbox, which was launched in July of this year.

Line also said in its presentation on Thursday that it expects to go live with its framework for the LINK token as well as the Linear Network in December. The company has previously stated that it is already moving to support its developer resources ahead of the launch – indicating that it will push to have a number of dApps in place prior to the kick-off.

In its official announcement of the LINK launch, Line CEO Takeshi Idezawa disclosed the intent of the company to create an ecosystem of dApps, but did not offer a specific use case for the cryptocurrency.

“Over the last seven years, Line was able to grow into a global service because of our users, and now with Link, we wanted to build a user-friendly reward system that gives back to our users. With Link, we would like to continue developing as a user participation-based platform, one that rewards and shares added value through the introduction of easy-to-use DApps for people’s daily lives,” Idezawa stated at the time.