​Chat giant Line forms blockchain subsidiary

Line hopes that blockchain subsidiary Unblock will take a leading role in the market and has vowed to actively invest in the area going forward.
Written by Cho Mu-Hyun, Contributing Writer

Line Plus, the mobile platform subsidiary of chat giant Line, has formed a blockchain subsidiary, dubbed Unblock, in South Korea.

Unblock is Japan-based Line's first entry into the blockchain market.

The company will conduct blockchain education and market research and expand to Japan and Southeast Asia, Line Plus said.

Unblock may also possibly issue its own virtual currency and act as an exchange at a later date, but it was too early to discuss the matter, it added.

Line said it will actively invest in blockchain going forward, taking a leading role in the market by capitalizing on its technological experience in operating its chat app.

Rival chat giant Kakao last month formed its own blockchain subsidiary called Ground X based in Japan. It said it will launch a blockchain platform within the year.

Japan and South Korea remain two of the most popular markets for virtual currency and blockchain behind the US.

South Korea banned ICOs and announced a slew of new regulations for virtual currencies earlier this year, but the government said there will be no ban and vowed to foster blockchain businesses going forward.

Line is a subsidiary of South Korean search giant Naver. Naver and Kakao are also competing in AI speakers in the local market.


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