In 2018 ICON announced a partnership with LINE PLUS to co-found UNCHAIN and create a blockchain ecosystem fueled by a token economy: LINK. Amy Dang shared a detailed description of the relationship between LINK and ICON here.

Designed to “flatten the relationship” between service providers, LINK Chain is a single token, service-oriented blockchain network that enables dApps to be directly applied to the LINE messaging platform”.

As many blockchain companies disappeared during last year’s bear market, LINK emerged from the tumult with an undoubtedly strong platform and stayed true to all eight goals on its 2018 roadmap. We’d like to take a moment to recap the significance of these milestones.

Eyes on the road

In April, LINE established UNBLOCK and began developing its token economy. In June, LINE co-founded UNCHAIN, a joint venture with the ICON Foundation. UNCHAIN serves as the technical operator for the LINK Chain. The productive collaboration between ICON and LINK allowed Beta testing to begin in July, and a month later the Genesis block was created. 

In September the LINK Chain debuted the first two Japan-based LINK DApps, 4CAST and Wizball. The 4CAST platform collects user predictions and awards correct forecasts. Wizball, a user generated Q&A service, encourages information sharing amongst users.

LINK introduced its third DApp in October. BitBox, a global, virtual currency exchange available everywhere except for Japan and the US. BitBox hosts the ICON token ICX, in addition to various BTC, ETH, and USDT pairs.

The unhurried addition of DApps to the LINK ecosystem is subject to a great change in 2019 with the December implementation of the LINK Framework and LINEAR Network. These plans were first announced back in November by Unchain CEO, Hongkyu Lee.

During LINE LINK Dev 2018 conference, Lee introduced the LINK Framework “‘one-stop tokenization kit,’ as a suite of utilities for DApp development. The kit includes user utilities, smart contracts, a block explorer and other useful tools for developers.” Lee also announced the LINEAR Network, described by Robin J. Wolf as an interchain that would connect LINK’s main chain – that is, its root chain – to stable leaf chains, the LINEAR Network would be a scalable, stable blockchain platform tailored to DApp service, a platform in which developers could freely control confirmation time, processing speed, save space and other demands for services such as shopping, finance and social media.

Overall, LINK survived 2018 unblemished and management’s plan for the future reflect great promise. At the LINE LINK Dev conference, Lee reflected on the importance of developer friendly growth that LINEAR Network aspires to provide: “Only when users and developers can easily participate in blockchain can we develop and supply services.”