[Bnote] LINE’s grand blockchain commercialization plan is just starting
[Sonya’s Bnote] “Conventional blockchain technology required a complicated process for set-up and high costs for distribution—these were limits to commercialization. We aim to overcome these limits,” said LINE, Naver’s Japanese affiliate, as the company announced the launch of LINE Blockchain Developers and the BITMAX Wallet. According to LINE’s explanation, LINE Blockchain Developers is a platform where blockchain services can be easily built. The service is activated online. Companies and their developers can build a service or token economy on this platform. Transaction records can be checked with the LINE Blockchain Explorer. #LINE: From messenger to finance In Japan, the LINE messenger app is what Kakao is for Koreans. It’s now become a representative messenger service with more than 82 million users in the country. In a way, it’s natural that Naver decided to launch LINE’s blockchain project in Japan. Korea has more complex regulations, and another obstacle is the dominance of Kakao. LINE was able to focus resources for finance in Japan alone. Now it's aiming to strengthen its foothold in the tech-fin market with blockchain technology. #LINE wants to fix the imbalance in the token economy—but can it? According to its White Paper 2.0, LINE’s goal is to establish a blockchain platform and token economy available for anybody in the world. The ecosystem was conventionally under the control of investors in the platform and also had problems of an unbalanced token economy and inconvenient user experience. LINE’s strategy is to give more compensation, Link coins, according to user activity and contribution to the platform for motivation and to heighten the service quality. In August, Kakao launched the Klip crypto wallet. LINE is following in those footsteps with its BITMAX Wallet, in an attempt to go beyond a messenger app to a finance platform. Like Kakao’s Klip, anyone with a LINE account can immediately start using the BITMAX Wallet. Sending crypto currency to LINE friends is available as well. #DApp performance so far is weak DApps are programs and tools that run on top of a blockchain system. LINE’s DApps so far haven’t been so successful. In Sept. 2018, LINE launched five DApp services. One of them closed down in August 2019 followed by another the following month. LINE needs successful DApps that can surpass its messenger service. Without it, Link coins may exist with a price but no value.