Beginner’s Guide To Kin: Cryptocurrency for a Digital Services Ecosystem

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Social media platforms, like Facebook and Twitter allow users to create content but the only ones who benefit from this are the companies themselves. Instant messaging applications also monetize and profile user data without compensation to users. Kik aims to change all of this with their new cryptocurrency Kin that will live in their Kik instant messaging app.

Kin Cryptocurrency

What Is Kik?

In case you’ve lived under a rock for the last nine years – Kik is ranked 7th in social networking apps according to AppAnnie. It was founded in 2009 by Ted Livingston and has over 150 employees with 4 offices across the globe. It is one of the world’s most utilized chat apps and the fifth biggest search phrase in the iOS App Store. It is very popular with teenagers and young adults between the ages of 13 to 24 years old. The majority of the users live in the United States. The advantage of Kik launching the Kin Ecosystem is that it has an existing user base of 15 million people. Due to Kik’s popularity this will ensure a good rate of adoption by its current user base. The Kik Messenger is a freeware program but it’s source code is private and proprietary.


How Will Kik Launch An Open Source Product If Their Software Is Proprietary?

Part of Kik’s decentralization strategy is to move away from a private source code base. This will happen in stages. This is to ensure that developers and partners can integrate and expand into the existing Kik codebase. Also, as Kik is run for profit the company will move away from this competitive stance and rather adopt a cooperative approach in building the Kin community by going open source.

Why Did Kik Decide To Launch A Cryptocurrency?

In 2014 the Kik Messenger introduced Kik Points. This experiment ended in 2016 but it was a success. Developers wanted to see what users do with social currency in a messaging app. The average amount of transactions on the app was nearly three times that of the Bitcoin network at the time. This proved to Kik that there is a definite use case for a cryptocurrency inside of a chat application. Cryptocurrencies are often difficult to understand for non-technical people but Kik aims to make it very user-friendly for anyone to use.

How it Works

What is The Kin Ecosystem?

Kik’s ultimate goal is to develop the Kin ecosystem into a decentralized organization. All the digital services it provides must be transparent and accessible. Kik sees itself as a participant in this new ecosystem instead of a landlord. Two of the outstanding features of this ecosystem are the Kin Rewards system and the Decentralized Identity Service.

Kin Ecosystem

What is the Kin Rewards Engine?

The Kin Rewards Engine works as a profit-sharing mechanism. It allows all stakeholders in the Kin ecosystem to benefit from the growth of the organization. This is a fund that locks a majority of the Kin cryptocurrency. This will be set at 60% of the total supply of Kin. This will be shared with contributors to the Kin ecosystem. Every year, 20% of the remaining reward funds that was not allocated will be released as further incentive rewards to everyone that has contributed to the Kin ecosystem. Also, 5% of the rewards fund will be used for operations and marketing. This is transparent and anyone will be able to see how the funds are spent.

Kin Rewards

The Kin cryptocurrency is deflationary, which means it increases in value over time unlike fiat currencies. The percentage of rewards will decrease over time in proportion as Kin gains value. The rewards will be distributed in proportion to the usage. This means that algorithms will determine how many rewards are allocated to each users based on how much Kin they have generated. At first, it will be done manually by the Kin Foundation. However, later it will be fully automated using smart contracts.

What Is The Kin Identity Service?

A single, decentralized identity is key to offering trustworthy services in the blockchain era. Kin will develop its own identity service as well as integrate with other third-party identity services such as OneName, uPort and Keybase. This will allow users to transact across different services linked to their own, verified identity.

What is The Kin Foundation?

The Kin Foundation is a non-profit organization that will govern the growth of the Kin Ecosystem. It is founded on the principles of open governance. This means all processes are transparent and fair. They will look after the supply of the KIN cryptocurrency as well as the Kin Rewards Engine. This is an interim solution until the entire Kin Ecosystem can function as an Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO).

Kin Foundation

What is the Kin cryptocurrency?

The name Kin is a very suitable for a social cryptocurrency. It implies the notion of family or to be related. The Kin Rewards Engine which is the economic incentive mechanism will be powered by this token. Kin is an Ethereum ERC-20 compatible token. The features that are already built into the Ethereum ecosystem makes it a good fit for the Kin cryptocurrency.

How Can Users Earn Kin?

Users can earn Kin through spending their attention. This is done by contributing value to the community, curating other users’ content or by creating original content. The Kin is stored in a crypto wallet inside the app that is linked to a user’s Kik account. By default each user will have a wallet already, so it removes the barrier to participate. Users do not have to download any additional software or deal with long and confusing wallet addresses. Everything is seamlessly integrated into the social chat experience. Users can also send and receive Kin outside of the Kik application by using the Ethereum blockchain.

How Can Users Buy Kin?

Kin is available to purchase on the following exchanges:

  • Mercatox
  • Bancor
  • IDEX
  • COSS
  • YoBit

How Can Users Spend Kin?

Users can spend Kin by buying products and services on offer by anyone on the Kin ecosystem. These are virtual products such as access to premium content or tipping someone else for creating great content.

What Are The Challenges With The Ethereum Blockchain?

The Ethereum blockchain is already highly congested and transaction confirmation times might be slower than users expect from a consumer-grade application. Also, the Ethereum blockchain requires transaction fees to be paid per transaction in the form of Gas. As with many other Ethereum-based tokens, Kin will also develop its own centralized, sidechain ledger. It will have an open API so developers can extend the functionality. This will increase transaction speed, avoid Ethereum network fees and reduce load on the public Ethereum blockchain.

Is the Kin Team Credible?

Apart from having the backing of the Kik team, the Kin Ecosystem has a great number of dedicated developers and specialists to ensure the project’s success.


Kin is a great way to incentivize social interactions by rewarding quality contributions. The rewards are transparent and fair. Other social networks like Steemit, which runs on the Steem blockchain also has a similar approach to content curation. Instead of the company making all the profits, content creators are equally rewarded. This creates a win-win situation for creators and companies alike. On social media apps users exchange their attention for value which makes it the perfect candidate for blockchain technology.

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