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Kik is a popular messaging and chat platform that plans to integrate a cryptocurrency into its platform. It is the first social media platform to launch its own free floating cryptocurrency Kin. Kin will be the native currency for the platform. The company is conducting an ICO to fund its in app token based currency.

The company released a detailed white paper outlining their Kin currency project. 

So far, Kik has raised $50 million in a pre-ICO sale from top notch venture capital firms and investors. The star studded investor line up included Polychain Capital, Blockchain Capital, Union Square Ventures and Pantera Capital. The public ICO token sale is planned for September 15 and is targeting at least $125 million.

This review is intended to break down all the necessary information about the KIK ICO before investing. You will find out: 

  • The background of Kik’s ICO
  • The team and company behind the Kik ICO
  • Kik’s planned cryptocurrency product integration
  • Kin currency integration features
  • Details of the Kik ICO
  • Verdict

Background

Social media apps opened up opportunities for communities beyond just communication. Information, content, and commerce are now weaved together with social platforms. Online communities create value through their interactions. Developers create bots, games and services within the app that engage users. Users, on the other hand, create and engage with content and services generating views, clicks, and shares

Social media platforms, however, have been the sole beneficiaries of this combined value, leaving little to nothing for the community. The existing monetization model for platforms like Facebook and snap chat is ad based revenue. But this model has come under criticism for extracting value from platform communities.

Kik is taking a different approach to monetizing the value created by its community by integrating a crypto currency with real world value. A spendable currency incentivizes developers, users, and content creators to create engaging services, content and interactions that earn them real money.

Kik is about to take this concept mainstream by leveraging its 300 million social media user base.

Kik the company and team behind Kin cryptocurrency

Kik Interactive Inc. was founded in 2009 in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.The company was last valued at $1 billion and has raised an overall $120 billion in funding.

Its product, a messenger app, connects people online. Since launch, Kik has captured a user base of 300 million teens and young adults across North America with 15 million monthly active users. 60% of this user base is between 13 and 24 years old.

Kik is reluctant to use the ad based revenue models commonly applied by its competitors. Ted Livingstone, founder, and CEO would rather see the company stick to alternative monetization models that do not involve selling customer activity and data.

Instead, Kik will use Kin, a custom cryptocurrency for the Kik app community to monetize the value within the Kik community.

The company has contracted blockchain specialists with relevant experience to aid in its Kin currency project. Coinfund and Cointree have come on board bringing technical experience from cryptocurrency exchange markets. Uriel and Daniel Peled founded Cointree, a Bitcoin exchange in Australia. Daniel Peled was also a founding member of GetGems, a messenger app that integrated Gems cryptocurrency in 2014.

Kin is taking lessons from China, where in app payments are popular on the largest messaging platforms such as Wechat. Tencent, a Chinese online company, is part of Kik’s investors and brings on board knowledge from China’s market.

How will Kin cryptocurrency integrate with the Kik ecosystem? 

Kik’s Kin custom token will act as the common currency for its ecosystem. All transactions within the app will require Kin as a settlement currency. Kin derives value from its role in the Kik ecosystem, thus driving up demand for the token.

Kik always foresaw the need for an in app token when bitcoin launched in 2011. It began experimenting with an in app reward system where users earned Kik points for actions such as watching ads and playing games. Accumulated points are redeemable for in-app digital goods such as stickers and smileys. These points, however, have no real world value and cannot be redeemed for cash.

Between 2014 and the end f 2016, users engaged with 253 million offers and went on to spend their Kik point on 74 million purchases. Adding a custom cryptocurrency token is the next phase of an alternative crypto economic structure.

Every user will have an inbuilt Kik wallet integrated seamlessly within the app. A Kin rewards engine will gradually introduce Kin into circulation within the community in proportion to contribution to the overall Kik community.

The next phase will enable a decentralized ecosystem for the creation, and sale of digital services and content. Users will pay for services using Kin allowing independent developers to earn for their content.

For example, users gain Kin from watching sponsored videos or spend kin to unlock exclusive content or interact with premium bots.  In a Kin powered economy, bots could earn from entertainment, content creation and games.

The long term goal is to incentivize content creators to engage audiences.

Unlike Kik points, however, Kin is immediately tradable on exchanges and thus redeemable for other cryptocurrencies of fiat money like US dollars. The incentive for the community is to earn tokens that have value beyond the Kik app.

An independent currency enables young users to participate in a money economy without requiring credit cards of bank accounts. 

What are the features of Kin within the Kik app ecosystem?

  • In app payments powered by Kin currency.
  • Kin currency is tradeable on digital currency exchanges
  • Kin is redeemable into cash such as US dollars and other cryptocurrencies via exchanges
  • Kin currency is earned for performing actions within the app such as watching sponsored videos
  • Kin currency can be spent by the community of users to unlock services, pay for content or access services within the app
  • Kin currency is an ERC20 token and resides on the Ethereum blockchain. Therefore has the same features as all other ERC20 tokens
  • Kik reward engine distributes Kin into circulation within the community in proportion to contribution by each community member to overall ecosystem
  • Every Kik user has a default Kin wallet seamlessly integrated within the app
  • Developers and content creators earn Kin currency through charging for digital services. Distribution is relative to the volume of transactions their apps or content generates.

Kik Kin ICO review

Kik announced its intention to raise funding through an ICO in May 2017. The company is targeting at least $125 million from its Initial coin offering. In what is now becoming a trend, the mobile messaging app conducted a pre-ICO token sale limited to private institutional investors. Investors included Blockchain Capital, Pantera Capital, Union Square Ventures and Polychain capital.

The total amount of tokens available for distribution is 10 trillion tokens.

10% of the total fixed token supply was set aside for pre-ICO and ICO token sale. 

The pre-sale netted in a total of $50 million in exchange for 488 billion tokens at a 30% discount. Pre-sale tokens will be locked in for one year, after which only 50% of them are disposable on the open market.

The remaining 512 billion tokens will go on sale during the ICO that kicks off on September 12. The sale will run for 15 days until September 26. 

3 trillion Kin tokens will go to Kik at a 10% vesting period spread out over 10 quarters. The proceeds will go towards setting up a non-profit Kin Foundation, marketing, and acquiring content developers. 

The final 6 trillion tokens are for distribution under the Kik reward system engine. 20% of these tokens will be channeled into circulation annually. Each day, developers will receive $100,000 worth of Kin in proportion to the traction their app generates within the app ecosystems. 

Verdict

The Kin currency is one of the better tokens available in the market with a pre-existing base of 300 million potential users. It is certainly a great match between social media users and cryptocurrencies at a time when the industry is struggling with nailing down a killer use case.

There is no doubt the Kin token will find traction in the Kik app, considering the Kik points reward system that gained considerable success. The number of tokens available for the ICO makes Kin a long term investment. It will take time for the tokens in circulation to gain traction and unleash the app community's potential.

Kin is a cryptocurrency worth holding in every cryptocurrency investor’s portfolio.