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Messaging Giant LINE Launches $10 Million Token Venture Fund

Japanese messaging giant LINE has launched a token venture fund with a capital commitment of $10 million via its recently established subsidiary called Unblock Ventures.

The publicly traded firm announced the fund in a release on Wednesday and said it aims to invest in blockchain startups in an effort to boost technological development.

While Unblock Ventures, incorporated in Hong Kong in July, will be the fund’s manager, the $10 million capital is solely provided by LVC Corporation, another subsidiary of the LINE group.

And, the company said it expects to increase the total amount of the fund in the future based on the development of the blockchain industry.

Today’s launch is part of LINE’s wider push into the cryptocurrency space and comes just a month after it officially started the operation of its cryptocurrency trading platform called Bitbox.

It was also announced today that Bitbox has listed TRX – the token on the TRON blockchain that was launched in June – as the first crypto project on the exchange for trading following a review process conducted by Bitbox’s listing committee. Following the news, the 24-hour trading price of TRX jumped by 12 percent, based on data from CoinMarketCap.

In April, CoinDesk reported that LINE was also planning to launch a subsidiary based in South Korea that will focus on researching blockchain technology and developing potential applications.

LINE image via Shutterstock

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Japanese App Provider Line Corp to Launch Cryptocurrency Services

The provider of a popular messaging app in Japan, Line Corporation, has announced the launch of a new company that will provide digital currency services.

The new company, dubbed Line Financial Corporation, will provide a platform to transact and exchange digital currencies, insurance and loans, a company release states.

In a move intended to build its position in the financial business sphere, the new company will also foster research and development of technologies like blockchain, it adds.

The cryptocurrency services will be made available via Line Pay app – the corporation’s mobile money payment and transfer app. Last year, Line Pay saw overall volume of annual transaction rise to almost 450 billion Japanese yen ($4,135,500,000), and registered users hit 40 million, the release claims.

The new entity is currently awaiting licensing by Japan’s authorities, Line Corp said.

According to the release:

“The application process for registration as a virtual currency exchanger has already been started with the Financial Services Agency [FSA], and it is currently under review.”

Japan has become one of the world’s most cryptocurrency-friendly jurisdictions over the last year, with rules and licensing aimed to encourage the industry while still protecting consumers.

Notably, in March 2017, the country recognized bitcoin as a legal payment method. And, six months later, the FSA started issuing operating licenses to cryptocurrency.

Line app image via Shutterstock

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