Exclusive: 200 Million Users Messaging Giant LINE Partners Blockchain Project ICON

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ICON, the $1.6 billion blockchain project created by developers from South Korea, has secured an official partnership with LINE, Japan’s largest messaging app that supports more than 200 million monthly active users.

LINE’s Entrance Into Cryptocurrency Exchange Market

On January 31, CCN reported that LINE is set to launch a cryptocurrency exchange within 2018 with an intent to enter the global cryptocurrency sector and to promote research and development of blockchain technology.

Since then, over the past four months, LINE has continued to explore the blockchain sector and innovative projects within it. This week, LINE announced that through a joint venture called UNCHAIN, the development team of LINE will deploy various decentralized applications (dApps) and its blockchain mainnet on the ICON blockchain protocol.

The official press release obtained by CCN noted that LINE and ICON will collaborate to develop and deploy a wide range of dApps that could be utilized by hundreds of millions of users on a daily basis.

With the creation of its independent blockchain lab, the LINE development team will begin exploring the potential of blockchain technology and research innovative methods of commercializing the technology in the long-term.

In an interview with CCN, the ICON team stated:

“We believe that, over time, more conglomerates and enterprises around the world will begin to see genuine use cases and efficiencies blockchain technology can bring to their business. At ICON, we’ve been working diligently to work with them to realize this through education, research, and collaboration.”

ICON Could be Used by 200 Million Active Users

LINE, which is the most widely utilized messaging app in Japan, has more than 200 million active monthly users on its platform that send and receive messages on a daily basis. The ICON team told CCN that the joint venture between ICON and LINE could lead to hundreds of millions of users of LINE potentially utilizing the ICON blockchain on a daily basis to access dApps.

“At current low adoption level, this access and impact would benefit ICON and the blockchain industry in a powerful way. We believe partnerships with players like LINE with such reach and scale are absolutely necessary for a wider and faster blockchain adoption. This is something we’ve all been waiting to see and we are glad to be the one make this happen,” the ICON team explained.

To this date, the blockchain sector is yet to see widespread adoption of blockchain technology and several experts including Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin have publicly expressed concerns towards the large market valuations of blockchain projects that are not comparable to their adoption and usage.

LINE is Japan’s most popular messaging platform.

In November, as the cryptocurrency market achieved a $0.5 trillion market valuation, Buterin stated that while the blockchain sector has provided some value to major industries such as finance and technology, it has not done enough to justify its valuation.

“So total cryptocoin market cap just hit $0.5T today. But have we earned it? How many unbanked people have we banked? How much censorship-resistant commerce for the common people have we enabled? How many dapps have we created that have substantial usage?” said Buterin, adding The answer to all of these questions is definitely not zero, and in some cases it’s quite significant. But not enough to say it’s $0.5T levels of significant. Not enough.”

Long-term partnerships and joint ventures between blockchain projects and large-scale conglomerates allow the development of blockchain platforms and applications that could potentially be adopted globally and actually utilized on a regular basis to demonstrate the potential of the blockchain.

As for LINE, the ICON team said that the LINE development team was attracted to the interoperability benefits provided by the ICON network and the technical capabilities of the ICON team.

“We believe this goes to show the quality of ICON team’s technical and business capabilities. At the end of the day, it’s about how comfortable you are working with your partners. Both LINE and ICON have strong mutual respect for one another,” said the ICON team.

Images from Shutterstock.

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Hong Kong-Based Finance and Cryptocurrency Analyst / Writer. Contributing regularly to CCN and Hacked. Offering cryptocurrency news and Insights Into Asian Market (South Korea, Japan, and more).