LINE confirms plans to localise STEPN for Japanese market

LINE Xenesis, which oversees LINE’s digital assets and blockchain business, has signed a memorandum of understanding with Find Satoshi Lab to jointly work on the localisation of the popular “move-to-earn” app STEPN for the Japanese market.

The localised STEPN will be based on “LINE Blockchain,” the proprietary chain developed by LINE Blockchain Lab, LINE Xenesis said in an August 9 statement. 

LINE and Find Satoshi Lab, which operates the move-to-earn app, will collaborate on the technological and business aspects of localising STEPN for the Japanese market while seeking to create a service that lets Japanese users simply and enjoyably experience Web3 as part of their healthy lifestyles, it said. 

LINE Blockchain is a base where the group issues its own crypto asset LINK. The group is now developing and operating various blockchain-related businesses, including the crypto asset trading services LINE BITMAX (in Japan) and BITFRONT (globally) as well as a comprehensive NFT marketplace called LINE NFT.

STEPN is the world’s first “move-and-earn” blockchain game that lets players earn crypto assets according to the number of steps they have taken. Since its beta release in December 2021, its popularity as a fitness app has grown among people concerned about their lack of exercise due to restrictions during the Covid-19 pandemic. As of July 15, 2022, the app has 4.5 million registered users globally.

LINE Xenesis’ representative director and chief executive Lim Inkyu said the group was very pleased to be able to cooperate with STEPN. “With this collaboration across international borders, we hope to create new synergy and continue to offer new blockchain value from a position that is closest to our users,” Lim said.

The partnership has been welcomed on social media, with users suggesting that STEPN be included on LINE’s platform as a way to promote it further in Japan. One commented that this would be “a good opportunity for people to get in touch with move-to-earn and crypto assets.”

STEPN has recently suspended its services in China “to comply with regulations” as Chinese authorities tightened their grip on crypto-asset related business. In April, the China Banking Association and others jointly warned of “hidden risks” involving NFT investment and transactions, such as excessive speculation and money laundering. It suggested that NFTs should not be regarded as assets or financial instruments and that the government should take measures to protect consumers’ interests and maintain the integrity of the industry.