LINE Blockchain Monthly Newsletter: August 2022
The worst of the summer heat has broken and fall is just around the corner. We hope everyone had a happy Chuseok holiday too! (It’s the big autumnal festival in Korea). Since the launch of the DOSI teaser site, LINE NEXT has been gearing up to provide everyone a chance to experience the DOSI Store early as possible. Thanks to all those at LINE NEXT who worked so hard to make this happen, they hope you will enjoy the entertaining content that only DOSI can offer, starting in the third quarter of this year.
⎮ Highlights & Main News
LINE NEXT Introduces 5 NFT Projects on DOSI Teaser Site
With the release of the DOSI teaser website, several IP brands (AlphaCrewz, Now. Drops, Hellbound, DIA TV, and APOKI) will also be launched on the DOSI Store. DOSI Store is a space where companies and brands can sell NFTs, and the global beta version (including Japan) will be released in the third quarter of this year.
◼︎ Read article: LINE NEXT Introduces 5 NFT Projects on DOSI Teaser Site
LINE Xenesis x STEPN
LINE Xenesis recently signed an MOU with Find Satoshi Lab Limited to develop STEPN, a move-and-earn service, for the Japan market based on the LINE Blockchain. A number of media outlets, such as Yahoo! and New Economy – a Web3-specific Japanese media, covered this deal where STEPN was mentioned as a Japanese trend on the business and finance Twitter accounts as well. LINE Xenesis plans to collaborate with STEPN in the future, and the expectations are rising among the public for the success and further expansion of local services in Japan.
LINK Joins MEXC Global Exchange
LINK is now available on MEXC Global, a leading crypto exchange that employs a high-performance matching-engine technology capable of handling a gigantic 1.4 million units per second. LN/BTC pair is supported and LINE plans to further expand LINK’s liquidity and strengthen its ecosystem.
◼︎ Related article: LINE Crypto Asset LINK Lists on MEXC
AlphaCrewz Goes ‘To the Next’ with High-end Avatars, High-end Benefits
In early August, a DOSI teaser site was released along with five brand stores. Of those early releases, AlphaCrewz (aka “ACRZ”) is one of the most highly anticipated, as it represents the next generation of LINE avatar service. To find out in more detail what kind of service it is, we interviewed Yong-hyun Lee and Hwa-won Ahn from LINE Play, two of the leading minds behind ACRZ. Let’s get started!
■ Hello, could you please introduce yourself?
Lee: I’m Yong-hyun Lee, the CEO of LINE Play, leading one of our NFT projects, and I bring insights gained from various paradigm shifts in the IT industry for over 20 years. As a former engineer, I’ve been working on a number of LINE projects, from gaming PD to business PM. Being in the IT industry for so long, I grew up in the dawn of the Internet Age (Web 1.0), the era of user-generated content (Web 2.0), and then the transition period to the mobile environment. Oh, and I’m also one of the people who developed the technology that underlies Afreeca TV (Any FREE broadCAsting; a P2P technology-based video streaming service in Korea).
Ahn: I’m the PM of ACRZ who joined NHN in 2006 and ran an avatar service for 10 years at LINE Play, followed by NHN’s online game platform Hangame. I’ve built up my career from big and small things with a fashion avatar service LINE PLAY, 3D experiences in hyper-casual games, and I’m now glad to join the challenge of an NFT project – ACRZ.
**LINE Play is in the midst of a transformation to Web3 with the mission of “Create values that anyone wants to own and be proud of it in the digital world.” Among our many popular services are LINE PLAY – a fashion avatar service, which is enjoyed by 80 million users around the world – and Brown Farm, a farm management game that uses the beloved LINE FRIENDS characters. LINE Play is also under the development of AlphaCrewz, an NFT collection of high-definition avatars for use in LINE’s coming metaverse ecosystem.
■ What kind of service is AlphaCrewz and how was it created?
Lee: ACRZ is both an avatar service and a metaverse service, only available through LINE’s Web3 ventures.
I thought Web3 was a challenging new technical paradigm that LINE had to explore, and ultimately we decided the best way to do so was through avatars. We explored what kind of team would be best for developing an avatar service, and the LINE Play team seemed the best fit. That’s how we chose to build a high-end avatar system for Web3, the first PFP NFT by LINE Play to be introduced to the public. Our goal at LINE Play is to connect ACRZ to Web3 and then to the open metaverse.
Ahn: Looking at how mobile communications have evolved, services started out text-based like LINE Messenger, then moved on to short-form video services. So, I thought the next trend will be avatars.
These days, for those who are very attuned to new technologies, traditional text-based communication no longer seems very sophisticated. It doesn’t really matter what the conversation topic is or whether people are literally talking to each other. For young people, what matters is a sense of liveliness, that is what keeps them in the same space and bonds them together.
That’s why I thought we need avatars, to present Gen-Zers with a fresh communication tool — not just a character that resembles who I am, but a medium that reflects everything about myself. Well, the metaverse is a world that no one has ever been to or experienced before, so no one can really define what it is. Though it’s difficult, we try to connect the interests, thoughts, and ideologies from users’ real lives to various worldviews contained in avatars and in the metaverse so then we can play a significant role as a bridge entity.
■ Do you see any way the virtual world and reality might merge?
Ahn: In the past, a popular Korean social networking service in the early 2000s, the Minimi avatars were confined to that specific cyber world, so the moment you left that world, you and your avatar were separated. However, for the metaverse we are now creating, there is no separation between my real life and my virtual life, materializing what I enjoy doing and what I like through avatars. It is not a mixture of ideological separation, but the development of integration. I think that’s what Web3 really is.
■ The AlphaCrewz groups were announced a few days ago. Can you tell us about them?
Ahn: Quinn Bee, Yami Cat, and Mad Alien are the three main ACRZ groups (or “crews”, as we often call them). In addition, Pi is a special kind of support character, helping with all three groups. Pi reflects the style and attitude of Generation Z young people. In order to grant Pi a supercomputer-like role as a helper for the entire crew, I gave her shiny crystalline hair and a holographic style to let her be the core system of ACRZ.
We’ve been running avatar services for 10 years, analyzing the styles that the public likes in order to come up with three groups with Gen-Zers and millennials might like. The expandability of the characters is infinite. All the groups have their own characteristics that are full of meaning and backstory, and our intention is to gradually disclose that in the LINE Metaverse. I think people are really going to enjoy unraveling the hidden mystery of ACRZ.
■ If AlphaCrewz is a pit stop for the LINE Metaverse, what will the final destination look like?
Lee: The LINE Metaverse will be a space where LINE’s vision of “Life on LINE” can come to realization. Specifically, we envision it being a communication hub that anyone can access and that is especially popular with Gen-Zers.
On the LINE Metaverse, everyone can freely own their assets since it’s a Web3 service. Just like capitalism has developed from the point where assets were entitled to each individual backed by private property rights, so will the digital world. With assets, the economy will circulate within free and sound transactions, creating digital capitalism.
■ The public is beginning to understand the concept of the NFT, but many people still don’t get how NFTs might add value and how it’s relevant to our real lives. Can you explain in easy-to-understand language why people should engage in economic activities in the virtual world?
Lee: I think in order for Web3 to grow well, present life and digital ego must be separated. Even now, people engage in digital activities on Instagram, Naver Blog, Zepeto, and other platforms. People make friends in those digital spaces and vie for attention and influence. If the metaverse properly employs Web3 technology, another world can be created through economic activities, the buying of expensive NFTs with the money earned there, showing off, and more. We can make this concept in proportion with reality to earn a huge, positive response from young people by carrying or wearing luxury goods.
Ahn: Yong-hyun just mentioned the separation of reality and the metaverse, but it’s inevitable that the concepts we understand in real life are bound to be reflected in virtual space. High-end brands can be applied to the metaverse because it really holds value and their value has the same or even higher meaning in virtual space. The concept of digital land is the same. There’s no land in digital space! But, on the contrary, brands that used to be only on the metaverse may appear in the real world and become popular too.
In this respect, even if reality and the virtual are separated to some extent, they aren’t really divided. There is no segregated boundary between the two worlds. Everything can be blended in the metaverse and a new perspective of creating something out of common sense far from traditional social principles might be needed.
Lee: The concept of NFT is still difficult. And because it’s difficult, we might even say “Have you shopped on Naver and collected enough Naver Pay points? It’s now time to get your own limited high-end avatar with those points. Now or never.”
■ What’s the difference between the LINE Metaverse and other avatar services? What are the AlphaCrewz holders’ benefits?
Ahn: The biggest feature of ACRZ is that it is Web3-based, and I think this is where new value is created. All content created in Web3 will be “NFTized” and be owned or traded by individuals. There’ll be tons of new concepts to be applied beyond avatars as long as they’re Web3-based.
Another important point is that we don’t create all the content on the metaverse on our own. We will aim to go with ACRZ holders not to be trapped in our own beliefs. Holders will be free to produce secondary derivatives through the 3D files and assets we provide. With their own avatar, they can do both real and virtual economic activities as virtual influencers, fashion models, and goods producers.
We do not simply produce avatars, but we will continue to challenge things that can be done in Web3 by contemplating what new value can be added to avatars through partnerships and communication with holders.
Lee: ACRZ characters are also all limited editions, and we plan to continue to provide benefits for anyone to enjoy commercial activities on the LINE Metaverse. Last, but not least, ACRZ characters are awesome. I’m sure they’ll be the coolest avatars in the world.
■ What kind of community does AlphaCrewz want to create?
Lee: I want to create a community that responds flexibly to the needs of holders. I think the real nature of Web3 is to collect feedback from holders and communicate so that their suggestions can be applied as needed. But that doesn’t mean we’re going to do it passively. I mean more freely and actively.
■ When is the first minting going to be and what will be the ensuing timeline?
Lee: The first minting will be announced soon, and then we’ll be releasing the first avatar content at the end of the year. The content will be provided in a portable-friendly and easy-to-use app, and the PC version will be supported accordingly.
**ACRZ NFTs will also be available on the DOSI platform supported by various payment methods, such as Naver Pay, credit cards, and virtual assets. ACRZ is closely related to DOSI, and as that platform develops, we’ll be doing more and more as well.
■ Is there anything else you want to add?
Lee: ACRZ is today’s most undervalued NFT. The first minting will be the best time for people to grab a chance to collaborate oneself with the LINE Metaverse. Especially for creators and companies interested in digital content, I think ACRZ is a good fashion model. ACRZ is very limited and it definitely is worth more than the price as its 3D model data, commercial use rights and more will be provided altogether. So, this is the best time to be part of ACRZ.
Ahn: It is never easy to understand users’ actual needs just by reading their feedback and comments. It is so obvious that most people don’t even know what they really want until they actually encounter something and see it. That’s why we want to make things that people haven’t seen yet, then show them and hear them shout “Yeah, that’s what I meant and wanted!”
It’s true that the metaverse cannot be formed by an individual or even by a group of people like us. ACRZ holders, general users, and we at LINE Play may have slightly different standards and ideas but I think we can still look in the same direction. Today, we are walking on the road where no one has gone before. All challenges we encounter are new and we learn something every day. But, what we can be so sure about us is that we are ready to make a real difference thanks to LINE’s major brand power and our confidence in our services.
ACRZ is a promising project for the popularization of Web3 and the metaverse. We look forward to continuing our relationship with you all in the future so please continue to support us.
⎮ LINK Overview
❖ Data is based on the last day of each month.
■ LN Market Cap: 223.49mn USD
■ LN Price: 35.69 USD
■ Monthly Trading Volume: 102.12mn USD
■ Circulation: 6,261,861 LN
■ Officially Listed Exchanges: BITFRONT, BITMAX, Bithumb, MEXC Global
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**This newsletter is issued by LINE TECH PLUS (LTP), which operates LINE Blockchain.
**Disclaimer: LINE TECH PLUS informs the business and services related to the LINE Blockchain ecosystem as an operator of LINE Blockchain Mainnet and the LINK issuer. Please note that the business entities differ by service.