Line to launch NFT service LineNext next year


Kate Park

Japan-based messaging app Line Corporation, which is wholly owned by Z Holdings, will launch NFT service next year via its new organization LineNext to provide the marketplace for companies and individuals to trade NFTs globally, excluding Japan. Line is separately operating its NFT market beta version through Line Bitmax wallet that is fit for the Japanese market, a spokesperson of Line said.

Line announced last week it has established LineNext in South Korea and the U.S. to focus on expanding the global NFT ecosystem.

The Korea-based LineNext, which has around 100 employees, is working on the global NFT platform strategy and planning while the US-based LineNext is developing and operating its non-fungible token (NFT) platform business. The US office has 55 employees, the spokesperson noted.

Since LineNext is the platform provider, “transaction brokerage fees will be the main source of revenue, with additional revenue sources planned for the future,” the spokesperson told TechCrunch.

LineNext is currently in discussions with about 20 global partners for potential partnerships, the spokesperson said.

LineNext’s new global NFT platform will support companies and creators across the globe as they build markets and create communities and ecosystems for general users to trade NFTs.

“NFTs are a kind of technology infrastructure that will transform the digital space and innovate the user experience in all areas, such as content, gaming, social and commerce,” said chief product officer of Line app products (and Line fintech company) Youngsu Ko, who has been appointed CEO of LineNext. “Line has over a decade of proven experience as an innovator, becoming one of the most popular tech companies in Asia. Now we aim to do the same for the exciting new field of NFTs together with our global partners, with the Korea office focused on global NFT platform strategy and our office in the United States focused on the NFT business.”

LineNext aims to transform the NFT experience for companies, creators and users by using Line’s extensive experience developing and growing messenger and blockchain services.

Since establishing Line Blockchain lab, Line has issued its crypto-asset Link and operates the crypto-asset exchange Line Bitmax in Japan and Bitfront globally. Line also runs a blockchain service development platform, Line Blockchain developers platform and a beta version of an NFT market on Line Bitmax Wallet in Japan.

More than 1.3 million NFTs have already been issued by various blockchain partners such as Zepeto and Dentsu, introducing intellectual properties, content, and gaming, the company said.