Friday, May 26, 2017 4:56 AM UTC

Kik Interactive, the company behind the popular chat platform Kik, has announced its plans to launch an Ethereum-based cryptocurrency which will be integrated into Kik platform as the primary transaction currency.

Called ‘Kin’, the cryptocurrency that will serve as a foundation for a decentralized ecosystem of digital services. It will be created as an ERC20 token on the Ethereum blockchain and fuel communications, information, and commerce inside of Kik. The token sale will take place later this summer, Kik said.

Digital services, like chat apps and social platforms, which are currently bringing together communications, information, and commerce in new and unprecedented ways, are expected to become a core aspect of daily lives for future generations. However, with more and more of these services being controlled by a diminishing number of companies, it could lead to a future of less innovation and fewer choices. Kik believes that decentralization is solution to this problem and a sustainable way forward.

“Kik believes that Kin can bring together a broad group of participants to create an open ecosystem of digital services that prioritizes consumer experience and choice,” said Ted Livingston, Founder and CEO of Kik. “As a leader in the chat space, we want to bring a fair and sustainable model for digital services to the market and fuel an alternative ecosystem for communications, information, and commerce.”

The Kin Cryptocurrency and the Kin Foundation

In its official release, Kik said that it plans to create a decentralized ecosystem of digital services through advances in cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. This involves four key steps:

  • Create the Kin cryptocurrency on Ethereum: Envisioned as a general-purpose cryptocurrency for daily use in our digital lives, Kin will be used for all transactions in the Kin ecosystem. Implemented on the public Ethereum blockchain as an ERC20 token, Kin will serve as the basis of interoperability with other digital services in the Kin Ecosystem.
  • Integrate Kin into Kik: Kin will be adopted as the transaction currency inside of the Kik app. With millions of monthly active users, Kik will drive mainstream consumer adoption of Kin, establishing demand and fundamental value for the cryptocurrency. By natively integrating the Kin wallet into the app, it will instantly become one of the most adopted and used cryptocurrencies in the world.
  • Develop the Kin Rewards Engine, an innovative cryptoeconomic structure intended to promote the use of Kin as a common currency: Through the Kin Rewards Engine, Kin will be introduced into circulation as a daily reward, which will be distributed among stakeholders by an algorithm that reflects each community’s contribution to the overall ecosystem. This economic structure will create a natural incentive for owners of other digital services to adopt Kin and become partners in the Kin ecosystem. Over time, the Kin Rewards Engine will be implemented as a fully decentralized system based on smart contract technology.
  • Launch the Kin Foundation, envisioned as a non-profit governance body for the Kin Ecosystem: The Kin Foundation’s mandate is to grow an open ecosystem of digital services that consumers can easily explore and find value in, while giving developers an open and sustainable platform to develop, enhance and monetize those services. Over time, the Kin Foundation will oversee the transition of the Kin Ecosystem to a fully decentralized model that operates with no assistance from Kik or any other entity. As a first step toward open governance, Kik will open source all of its client and server code, and will support others in building comprehensive digital services with integrated transaction economies.

We believe cryptocurrency is the next important business model innovation in tech,” said Fred Wilson, partner at Union Square Ventures and Kik board member. “Kik will be the first mainstream application to integrate a cryptocurrency. This could be a watershed moment for the blockchain sector.”

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