Kik Interactive, the creator of the Kik social media platform, plans to launch a cryptocurrency on the Ethereum blockchain called Kin to allow people to use a wide range of digital services, the company announced. The Kik chat platform is free and is used mainly by teenagers.
Ted Livingston, Kik founder and CEO, told Reuters Kik will be the first social media app to have its own currency for public sale. He said an ICO will be held some time this year, in which 10% of the tokens will be sold.
The company has released a white paper describing its ecosystem of digital services.
Open ecosystem of digital services
“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,” Livingston said in a prepared statement. “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.”
He said a cryptocurrency opens opportunities for digital services that is both open and better.
Digital services like social media platforms and chat apps have become monopolized by a small number of companies, making it hard for smaller players to compete, he said.
The token will facilitate a variety of services, first within the Kin platform and expand to other digital services.
Being integrated to Kik, Kin will become the most used cryptocurrency, thanks to its millions of monthly users, Livingston said. Bloomberg reported that Kik has revealed 15 million users its app monthly, which is a far cry from the 300 million registered users it claims to have.
Kik has been popular among teenagers since it does not require users to have a phone number. Kik has already raised about $120 million from investors, including Tencent Holdings Ltd., according to Bloomberg.