Japan's popular messaging app operator LINE Corporation has announced the launch of its first cryptocurrency or digital token 'LINK' and its first blockchain network 'LINK Chain', both were built independently by the company.

LINE plans to register LINK exclusively on its global digital asset exchange BITBOX in September, where the new cryptocurrency will be distributed to users. Along with the decentralized apps ( dApps) that will be launched soon, the company said that BITBOX will be the platform where users are able to acquire LINK and trade LINK with other digital assets.

Unlike other cryptocurrencies, LINK will not make an Initial Coin Offering (ICO), but instead utilizes a reward system that gives users LINK as compensation for using certain services within the LINE ecosystem, the company said. For example, a user who has joined and participated in one of the dApp services related to LINK can receive LINK as an incentive. That LINK can then be used as payments or rewards within the dApp services that will launch soon, and for service categories like contents, commerce, social, gaming, exchange and more within the LINE ecosystem. Takeshi Idezawa, CEO of LINE Corporation said:

“Over the last seven years, LINE was able to grow into a global service because of our users, and now with LINK, we wanted to build a user-friendly reward system that gives back to our users. With LINK, we would like to continue developing as a user participation-based platform, one that rewards and shares added value through the introduction of easy-to-use dApps for people’s daily lives.”

A total of 1 billion LINK will be gradually issued, according to how this ecosystem develops, the company said. Of that amount, 800 million will be allocated for user rewards, while 200 million will be managed by LINE Tech Plus, the issuer of LINK, as a reserve. 

For residents in Japan, LINK Point will be received as rewards for activities in dApp services instead of LINK. Japanese users can use LINK Point within dApp services or change it for LINE Points. "However until LINE gets authorization for cryptocurrency trading and exchanges by the regulatory authorities in Japan, LINK Point cannot be deposited, withdrawn, transferred, traded or exchanged at cryptocurrency exchanges, including BITBOX."