LINE NEXT, the NFT arm of Japan’s biggest social media app, LINE, has officially launched its DOSI NFT marketplace. The beta version of DOSI has been in operation since September this year and has since issued 100,000 DOSI wallets and 170,000 membership NFTs with customers spanning 149 countries. The platform currently supports Ethereum.
Despite being known for its Japanese chat app, Japan is not the primary target of this initiative. LINE NEXT was established in December 2021 to launch a global NFT ecosystem. Korean-based LINE NEXT Corporation focuses on NFT platform strategy and planning, and US-based LINE NEXT Inc. develops and operates the NFT platform.
The service is currently available in multiple languages, including English, Korean, Japanese, Chinese, Indonesia’s Bahasa, Spanish and Thai. “By publishing Asian contents to the global NFT market, the partnership will lead a new fandom culture and the mass adoption of NFTs”, said Youngsu Ko, CEO of LINE NEXT.
In July this year, the NFT business announced an investment of $10 million from ten companies, including SoftBank Corp, NAVER, WEBTOON and several big Korean firms, to help launch DOSI and provide business support and intellectual property content for the NFT projects. The parent LINE Corp is jointly owned by SoftBank and the Korean search engine Naver.
LINE is not new to blockchain, having released the LINE BITMAX Wallet in 2020, which manages digital assets issued on the LINE Blockchain. Consequently, the company forged collaborations with Yahoo! Japan to trade in NFTs in 2021, as well as with Visa to use blockchain for B2B and cross-border payments. However, these services were regionally restricted to Japan and Taiwan, respectively.
In terms of its global marketplace, LINE falls a little behind other Japanese companies. For instance, Rakuten launched its global NFT marketplace for sports, entertainment, music, and anime in February 2022.
The Japanese government is helping with the impetus required for growth in the sector. The Prime Minister’s speech in October 2022 highlighted the importance of digital expansion through Web3.0 services, including NFTs.