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Japanese messaging giant Line plans to build its own blockchain, support dApps

Japan-based messaging service Line has announced its intention to build a custom blockchain to encourage the use of decentralized apps.

Shortly after it first announced its intention to support in-app digital currency services through a new subsidiary, Japanese messaging titan Line has now announced its view to create a custom blockchain to support the development of decentralized apps (dApps).

Revealed at the firm’s 2018 technology roadmap, Line’s chief technology officer Euivin Park clarified that the company’s new blockchain platform would be developed outside of the firm’s existing products and would utilize the ‘token economy’ to accelerate the development of dApps – whether developed by either Line’s own staff, or by third-party developers.

The news is adjunct to two important company developments. Firstly, in January this year, Line filed for registration as a virtual currency exchanger and is presently awaiting review under the auspices of the Japanese Financial Services Agency.

Cryptocurrency services would be made available through the Line Pay app, and would be handled under the supervision of a new subsidiary dubbed Line Financial Corporation.

Secondly, the company had recently launched yet another subsidiary in the form of Unblock, which would focus on blockchain-related research and development projects. The company has clarified that Unblock will be charged with integrating various dApps into Line’s messaging platform.

During her address at Line’s 2018 Dev Week Global Workshop, Park noted that Line had set out to develop its own ecosystem with the specific aim to develop its messaging platform into a PaaS (Platform as a Service) offering in markets around the world.

In an official release, Line has previously noted its ambit to “actively promote research and development of technologies such as blockchain and provide a financial service that is convenient and safe to users.”

The move, in broad strokes, will position Line as one of the most blockchain and cryptocurrency-friendly messaging apps – and while the firm has not yet announced the development of a proprietary digital token, it may place the company on the road to competing with Telegram’s ongoing TON initial coin offering (ICO).