The world of cryptocurrency is somewhat dominated by celebrities and memes, as most of the cryptocurrencies are based on them. This is going a step further, and now the cryptocurrencies will be linked to bears, bunnies, and duckies. A popular Japanese messaging app, Line, is trying to build these kinds of new Line cryptocurrencies. It’s a very popular messaging app, especially in Asia. Line friends, its series of cute characters, are made into merchandise.
The line is scheduled to launch its cryptocurrency in September. The messaging app will deliver virtual coins, dubbed Link, as rewards for using Line services or the apps that live on the messaging app. The users, in turn, can use the messaging app Link to pay for goods and services offered by apps on the platform.
A Line spokeswoman said in an emailed statement, “The accelerated development of the crypto economy and blockchain technologies has created a wide range of options for new types of businesses. To keep up with these trends, Line has decided to launch our own cryptocurrency and blockchain network. Line intends to be a pioneer in the blockchain/crypto field, using our status as a global mobile platform and a listed company to take the initiative with the first cryptocurrency.” However, Link does not have regulatory approval. So it would not be able to have an initial coin offering. Link would not work as a currency in the US and Japan but it can be used within the Line app.
Line has been looking to branch out in the global market for a while with other products. In 2017, it paired up with its parent’s company Naver, a South Korean search giant, to create an AI platform called Clova. Cova is, more or less, like Amazon’s Alexa. Lina has also teamed up with DJI, the drone-making company, earlier this month to launch a mini-drone featuring Brown, the bear in Line Friends.