Line, the Tokyo-based company behind Japan’s most popular messaging application, made a double announcement on Wednesday.
A line of cryptocurrency businesses
The first piece of news is that it has launched a blockchain-focused investment fund, according to CNN.
‘Unblock Ventures’, as it is called, is located in Hong Kong and was technically launched by two of Line’s subsidiary companies, Unblock Corporation and LVS Corporation. The latter subsidiary has pledged $10 million in funding money.
TRX listed with promotional giveaway
The second part of the announcement is that TRX, the cryptocurrency of the TRON blockchain, is now active on Bitbox, Line’s cryptocurrency exchange.
— BITBOX (@bitbox_official) August 15, 2018
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Bitbox was launched in July 2018 via LINE Tech Plus, another subsidiary. It is located in Singapore because regulations in Japan and the US are too strict. It can handle 30 different cryptocurrencies and 15 languages and is open to citizens of all countries apart from Japan and the US. It gave away $10 to the first 2 million people who signed up.
The announcement caused the price of TRX to rise considerably, although that could also be attributed to the fact that TRON is airdropping 9 million TRX to users of Bitbox as a promotional giveaway.
Youngsu Ko, CEO of LINE Tech Plus, said: “Integrating TRON (TRX) with BITBOX will enable us to connect with the world’s fastest-growing blockchain project. TRON has a solid tech platform, especially now it has joined forces with BitTorrent. We look forward to building a strategic partnership with TRON and offering our users the best experience available in the cryptocurrency space.”
Apart from in Japan, Line is also used by hundreds of millions of people in Taiwan, Thailand, and Turkmenistan. The company went public on the stock exchanges of New York and Tokyo in 2016 and raised $1.1 billion.
Like competitors Whatsapp and Telegram, it can operate on all major mobile phone operating systems and has a desktop version for computers. It also has a payments service called Line Pay, which in 2017 processed more than $4 billion in transfers.