Cryptocurrency has ups and downs, but the trend is growing steadily with more people becoming familiar with it and the Blockchain technology.
One of them, is LINE. The messaging app from Japan has become one of the first publicly traded companies to have launched a proprietary cryptocurrency called ‘LINK’, and a Blockchain Network called ‘LINK Chain’.
According to LINE, the tokens can be used as payment means for a range of LINE services. Since there is no initial coin offering (ICO) for the LINK tokens, LINE is making them available only as rewards for users using decentralized applications (dApps) within the LINE ecosystem, and also available through its BITBOX, LINE's cryptocurrency exchange desk which was introduced earlier in 2018.
What this means, these tokens can only be spent within the LINK Chain ecosystem or exchanged for LINE Points. They cannot be deposited, withdrawn, transferred, traded, or exchanged at other cryptocurrency exchange desks.
LINE is issuing a billion LINK tokens: 800 million of them for user rewards, while keeping the remaining 200 million (20 percent of all issued) for itself as a company reserve.
LINE CEO Takeshi Idezawa said that:
Most notably about the cryptocurrency is that Japan is not having it - at least not at first - due to regulatory compliance issues. Whereas foreign users will receive cryptocurrency tokens as rewards, Japanese residents continue to receive conventional rewards points.
According to the announcement, the tokens are being issued by LINE's Singapore-based subsidiary called LINE Tech Plus PTE.
As for LINK Chain, the first block was mined on August 23rd. It serves as the basis of the LINK cryptocurrency. The company describes LINK Chain as a “service-oriented” blockchain network that enables dApps to be directly applied to LINE’s messaging platform.
The company confirmed that it is already operating all of the block producing nodes.
According to LINK’s roadmap, LINE has plans to launch several dApps. And as part of its plan to become a leading "digital reward platform," LINE encourages and support others to build dApps over its network.
LINE claims that its extensive experience in building platforms and large networks can overcome blockchain's major issues: scaling and wait-time in processing transactions. The company's representative also said that LINK Chain is based on a Delegated Proof-of-Stake (DPoS) consensus algorithm to facilitate speedy transactions.
However, LINE's white paper lacks the technical details explaining how it manages to overcome the issues that have been a struggle for the entire industry.
LINE in launching its own cryptocurrency and blockchain network, marks a bold move by the company in seeking to integrate blockchain into its existing business ecosystem. The company has announced the creation of a $10 million blockchain venture fund earlier this August to boost the development and adoption of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology.