As virtual currencies like Bitcoin surge in value, messaging app Kik plans to launch a digital currency of its own
Kik Interactive, the creator of the popular messaging app Kik said last Thursday it was launching a crypto-currency called Kin that would enable customers to use a range of digital services within a new ecosystem.
The Kin crypto-currency will be created on the Ethereum blockchain with plans for an initial coin offering some time this year. Once the new cryptocurrency is established the company will look to create demand for it by encouraging people to earn and spend Kin within Kik.
Upon announcing the development of Kin, Ted Livingston, Founder and CEO, stated in a Bloomberg interview that “Kik will be the largest install base of cryptocurrency users in the world.”
“We will create an economy where millions and millions of mainstream consumers are earning in a cryptocurrency for the first time ever,’’ Livingston said. “They’re going to want to spend in that same cryptocurrency as well,” he continued.
Since 2014, the company has experimented with a type digital currency called Kik Points, which allowed people to earn points by watching ads. The points could then be spent on digital items such as stickers or emoji’s. Kik Points saw a transaction volume three times higher than Bitcoin’s.
As the default currency inside the Kik app, Kin will go far beyond Kik points by allowing people to participate in an economy based on buying and selling stickers, hosting and joining group chats, creating and using bots, and much more.
Although lesser known and much smaller in comparison to powerhouse messenger services like WeChat, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger, Kik is currently one of the largest messaging apps in the world. The company was founded in 2009 and has about 300 million registered users.