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FISCO Group summon $59 million for Zaif hack, and messaging app Line announce token economy plans

As another Japanese exchange gets hacked, their corporate bosses step in to bail them out. At the same time, the country’s biggest messaging app announces plans for a token economy.

Following the hack of low-fee exchange Zaif on September 14th, FISCO Group announced it would offer support to Zaif operators Tech Bureau, who are still investigating the number of affected customers.

The estimated damage is equivalent to around $59 million USD, $40 million of which were client assets.

The Fisco Cryptocurrency Exchange (FCCE) has served Zaif as an OEM supplier since 2016. Although the exchange no longer rely on the OEM system, separating on September 12th, they will still be supported in their rebuild by CAICA – another FISCO Group company with an understanding of their design.

Fisco to the rescue

Tech Bureau, Corp. and FISCO Digital Asset Group are now set to begin considering reparation solutions. These are likely to include financial support, a redistribution of shares, and changes in leadership — including the dispatch of more than half of its directors and one auditor to Tech Bureau, by way of the affiliated company.

This is the latest in a spate of Japanese exchange hacks. Earlier this year the breach of Coincheck overtook Mt Gox as the most lucrative attack on a crypto exchange ever, with around 540 million NEM tokens (XEM) stolen. A few months after the hack, Japanese financial holding company Monex Group, Inc. proposed to buy the exchange.

Corporate players want a stake

Corporate players are increasingly entering the cryptocurrency business, often through subsidiary companies. Yahoo Japan Corporation — through its subsidiary, Z Corporation Inc. — gained a 40 percent minority stake in the cryptocurrency exchange operator BitARG Exchange in April, and Everybody’s Bitcoin, Inc. was acquired in August by Rakuten Card Co, a subsidiary of the major Japanese IT company Rakuten, Inc.

Another company entering the space is LINE, the telecom giant founded in Japan that now operates as a subsidiary of the South Korean Naver Corporation.

LINE — who operate the popular smartphone messaging app — held a press conference on September 27 concerning detailed specifications and technology for its LINE Token Economy concept.

The LINE Token Economy

The Token Economy will include five decentralized app services (dApps) that deal in the service categories of future prediction, Q&A, product reviews, food reviews, and SNS for locales.

4CAST is an app in which users can enjoy predicting the future as a community. Wizball is a Q&A platform for knowledge-sharing. Pasha is a platform in which users can review and search for products by taking pictures of products nearby, and TAPAS is a review platform in which users can share information about dining establishments all around Japan.

Finally, STEP (working name) is an SNS platform where users can share their memories of locations they visited when on vacation.

LINE also revealed that from October 16 it will begin offering its own digital token LINK for markets outside Japan through BITBOX, a cryptocurrency exchange based in Singapore. The company will issue original tokens using its own developed blockchain network called LINK Chain, and plans to build a fully-fledged token economy that will provide an even more diverse range of blockchain-based services.

Users will be able to interact with the LINE Token Economy, and contribute to the service in exchange for cryptocurrency. Japanese residents will receive LINK Points for their contributions, and overseas users will receive LINK cryptocurrency.

How LINE plans to popularise LINK Points as "points that utilize the benefits of blockchain technology" is a topic of particular interest in a country where point schemes dominate customer transactions.


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