Kik leverages messaging app to launch cryptocurrency Kin

Kik Interactive has announced it will create a new cryptocurrency that will be rolled out to users of its messaging app later this year

  • By James Stannard | Friday, May 26th, 2017

On May 25, Kik Interactive, the company behind one of the world’s most popular messaging apps, unveiled plans to launch a new cryptocurrency called Kin that will be available to users and private investors later this year. The currency will be created on the Ethereum Blockchain, an online public ledger similar to the one used by bitcoin. Kik will issue a certain amount of Kin to each user. The currency will then be used to buy a range of digital services on the Kik messaging app, such as games and live video streams.

Besides these free gifts, Kik will also offer 10 percent of the 10 trillion new digital coins to private buyers in a so-called “initial coin offering”. Kik hopes the value of each coin will rise as the app gains more users and demand for Kin grows. As such, the launch of the currency is an innovative, long-term fundraising move by the company, which hopes to attract investors who are seeking new opportunities.

“Kik will be the largest install base of cryptocurrency users in the world”, CEO Ted Livingston told Bloomberg News. “Kin, on day one, will be the most used cryptocurrency in the world.”

~10m

people hold a material amount of bitcoin

~300m

people are members of Kik

In January, an ARK Invest/Coinbase report revealed roughly 10 million people worldwide hold a material amount of bitcoin. By comparison, Kik has roughly 300 million members. With the addition of public investors, the coins themselves would indeed be very widely distributed. Furthermore, quirky new virtual currencies like Kin, as opposed to established ones such as bitcoin, may be more appealing to Kik’s specific user base, which is generally comprised of teenagers and other young Millennials.

That said, beyond “day one”, it is hard to guess how regularly the coins themselves may be used. Kik has just 15 million active monthly users, as opposed to Facebook’s two billion, meaning relatively few people are likely to use the coins to purchase services within the app at first.

If the currency does prove popular, app developers could potentially reap substantial benefits. At present, companies that create apps for the likes of Facebook and Google rely heavily on advertising revenue to stay viable. If app users began using Kin, app creators would see direct revenues and would have more scope to think up imaginative ways to get people to buy their products.

By taking the focus away from advertising revenues on a few big websites, Kik hopes Kin will help to decentralise the digital economy. Although this remains a long-term vision, it does have potential to come to fruition as other cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin continue to emerge and rise in value.