Japanese social media company LINE is doubling down on its bet that cryptocurrency has a bright future.
The publicly-traded LINE announced on Friday that it has launched its own cryptocurrency, named “LINK,” complete with an independent blockchain designed to serve as a platform for decentralized applications (dApps).
A LINE representative told CCN that the blockchain is based on a Delegated Proof-of-Stake (DPoS) consensus algorithm to facilitate speedy transactions. Further, the blockchain is already up and running. LINE said that the LINK Chain Genesis block was processed more than a week ago, on Aug. 23, and the representative confirmed that the company is currently operating all of the block producing nodes.
“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,” said LINE CEO Takeshi Idezawa. “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.”
Unsurprisingly, the company announced that LINK will initially be listed exclusively on BITBOX, the cryptocurrency exchange it launched earlier this year. LINE will also distribute the token through BITBOX, presumably in a bid to register more users on the platform.
LINE stated that it has no plans to hold an initial coin offering (ICO). Rather, it will distribute 800 million of the 1 billion tokens through user rewards, while the remaining 20 percent will be retained by the company.
Notably, the cryptocurrency will not be available in Japan — at least not at first. Whereas foreign users will receive cryptocurrency tokens as rewards, Japanese residents will continue to receive conventional rewards points — virtual tokens which must remain within the LINE ecosystem — for interacting with dApps built on LINK Chain. The company suggested that this may change once it receives regulatory approval to open its cryptocurrency exchange to Japanese traders.