Popular mobile messaging app Kik could be about to attract even more users when it launches its own cryptocurrency – Kin.
Founded in 2009 by a group of Canadian university students, Kik was created to break down some of the barriers that existed in the mobile messaging world – namely the fact that chat between Blackberry, Android, and iPhone users wasn’t previously possible.
Since then, Kik has become a popular way for friends to connect with one another. It has also caught the eye of investors, raising $120.5 million from firms such as Foundation Capital, RRE Ventures, Spark Capital, and WeChat developer Tencent.
The team behind Kik is now turning its attention to the world of cryptocurrencies with the launch of its own digital coin called Kin.
What is Kin?
Kin is a digital currency created by the Kik team which users can earn and spend inside the app. The coin is still in development, but the intention is for people to earn Kin for contributing to the Kik community, and then spend Kin on goods and services inside Kik.
Kin is similar to other digital currencies that you can earn and spend. Kik Points, for example, let you earn points for watching video ads and then use points for stickers and custom emojis. Candy Crush Gold allows you to buy gold with money and then use gold for game boosters. Line Coins, meanwhile, enable you to earn coins for downloading apps and then use coins for stickers.
As a cryptocurrency, Kin goes a step further than other digital currencies. It has monetary value, which means it can be bought and sold for real money. The Kik team is planning to make Kin available for use in lots of digital services and apps.
Kin, which operates on the Ethereum platform, also lets content creators and developers receive compensation for their offerings, with the goal of fuelling the development of better content and experiences.
Like many cryptocurrencies, the Kin price has been on a bit of a roller-coaster ride. At the time of writing, the Kin price is $0.000042, which is significantly lower than its all-time high of $0.001493 achieved on 6 January 2018. Its all-time low of $0.000020 occurred on 3 March 2019. Kin is currently trading on 36 active markets.
First Kin experiences
A very early, limited integration of Kin is currently being tested with a small group of users. Over the coming months, the Kin experience will evolve before it is rolled out to the entire Kik community.
Some of the experiences already launched include chat themes – a feature for customising chat screens. A sample of Kik users can earn Kin by completing tasks, including a tutorial, quizzes, and polls. In exchange for their time, users will earn a pre-set amount of Kin that is based on the complexity level of the task. These users will then have access to premium themes that customise a user’s chat screen.
Kik has also launched a Kin tipping service specifically aimed at chat group administrators. Users can reward the admins who they believe go above and beyond to improve their chat experience. To do so, you tap the “Tip” icon in the top corner of the public group chat screen. Once you’ve selected the admin you want to tip, you use a slider to select the amount of Kin you want to tip, press confirm, and the Kin is transferred over.
Ted Livingston, the founder and CEO of Kik and Kin, has said he wants to make Kin the most used cryptocurrency in the world. Kin’s overarching mission is to drive the mainstream adoption of cryptocurrency.
“Blockchain is a new and complex technology, but consumers don’t have to understand the technology in order to use it,” Livingston stated.
“With these new experiences, we want to demonstrate how simple and seamless cryptocurrency-driven experiences can be.”
Whether or not Kik achieves its ambitions remains to be seen, especially as it faces tough competition from the likes of Facebook’s upcoming GlobalCoin. But with chat apps growing in popularity among today’s youths, it has a pretty good shot at success.