Naver and Kakao are preparing to enter the market in earnest as they are recruiting and reorganizing their blockchain technology affiliates. The two companies, which have engaged in heated competition in the PC and mobile industry such as portal search and mobile messenger, are expected to compete in the blockchain service area based on blockchain technology that has been accumulated for the past two years. In particular, the launches of ‘LINE blockchain wallet’ and ‘Klip’ which are linked with mobile messengers ‘LINE’ and ‘KakaoTalk’, respectively, are similar in the first half of this year. Thus, competition for services such as blockchain-based financial service and Decentralized Identifier (DID) is expected to become more intense.
■’LINE blockchain wallet’ with 160 million users
According to the related industry on the 5th, Unblock and Unchain, blockchain service and technology subsidiaries of Naver LINE Plus, which were established in April and May 2018 respectively, recently posted regular job openings related to new business planning for cryptocurrency and the advancement of blockchain mainnet.
Ground X, a blockchain subsidiary of Kakao, founded in March 2018, is also hiring a person in charge of product development based on their own blockchain platform ‘Klaytn’. And they will announce new service launch plan and outcome of reorganization in this month.
Naver LINE is setting on taking over the market in earnest as the regulatory uncertainties over Japan, the United States, and Singapore are resolved. ‘LINK (LN)’, a cryptocurrency issued and operated by LVC, a blockchain and cryptocurrency subsidiary of LINE, will be traded through the local cryptocurrency exchange listing process in April under the approval of the Japanese Financial Services Agency (FSA). Also, Bitfront (formerly Bitbox), a global cryptocurrency exchange operated by LVC USA, a US subsidiary of LINE, will support fiat-based cryptocurrency trading, including the US dollar, from February 27.
The blockchain and cryptocurrency industry is paying attention to the launch of ‘LINE blockchain wallet’, a cryptocurrency wallet that allows login and KYC process with the ID of ‘LINE’, a mobile messenger. This is because the number of monthly active users (MAU) of ‘LINE’ as of the fourth quarter of 2019 totaled 164 million including Thailand, Taiwan and Indonesia, including 83 million in Japan. In other words, when the ‘LINE blockchain wallet’, a cryptocurrency wallet with a total of 164 million potential users in Japan and Southeast Asia, will be launched in the first half of this year, it will be linked with blockchain-based financial services to lead the era of ‘digital asset trading without borders’.
■KakaoTalk-based ‘Klip’ is also ready to launch
Ground X of Kakao also recently reorganized their organization based on ‘Klaytn-based’ service, a blockchain platform developed and operated by themselves. Especially, it is reported that they focus on development and service for ‘Klip’, a KakaoTalk-based cryptocurrency wallet that will be released in the first quarter of this year.
In the blockchain and cryptocurrency industry, it is also expected that ‘Klip’ will play a role of ‘self-sovereign identity wallet’ containing ‘mobile ID card’, using blockchain-based DID.
Yeo Min-soo, co-CEO of Kakao, the presenter of the ‘Klaytn Governance Council Summit’ last December, said, “We are preparing various applications such as introducing blockchain technology to ID cards.” “Also, Kakao will support Klaytn’s cryptocurrency ‘Klay’ for daily use by putting it in ‘Klip’”, he added.
An official of Kakao said, “”ID card TF (Task Force)’ is in the planning stage and it is an organization to improve and expand the user verification environment in the mobile environment.” “DID project is not the main one at this stage of planning,” he added.
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