Chat app Kik shuts down as parent company wants to expand cryptocurrency Kin

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Chat app Kik is shutting down. The company behind the application says it wants to focus entirely on cryptocurrency Kin. In the meantime, a lengthy and costly lawsuit is still ongoing, causing Kik Interactive to kill the application.

There aren’t many details about Kik’s discontinuation yet. For example, the company does not want to say when the plug will be removed. Kik Interactive CEO Ted Livingston describes the changes within the company in a blog post. In it he writes, among other things, about the difficulties the company has with the American authorities.

Kik Interactive has been involved in a lawsuit against the US Securities and Exchange Commission or SEC, the stock market watchdog, for more than a year and a half. That lawsuit revolves around the definition of cryptocurrencies, and specifically the Kin. That is the proprietary cryptocurrency that the company introduced in 2018. The SEC sued Kik Interactive for allegedly using the introduction of the Kin as a means of raising funds. The watchdog has been acting for some time against companies that use such initial coin offerings as an alternative to an IPO. The ICO earned Kik Interactive more than $100 million.

Kik Interactive appealed the ruling. It has since been involved in a lawsuit against the SEC. An essential question in that case is whether the Kin is a ‘security’ and therefore falls under SEC supervision. With a security, the value of a currency is mainly determined by supply and demand. However, according to Kik Interactive, the Kin is a digital currency that has “millions of monthly users.”

The company says it plans to focus entirely on the Kin in the future. At the moment Kin could be used in dozens of apps. According to Kik Interactive, this is done by more than two million monthly users in 600,000 monthly transactions. Users can use Kin to make in-app purchases, for example. That started on chat app Kik, where, among other things, new skins or emojis could be bought with the coin. Kik Interactive says it aims to increase user numbers in the future. To do this, the company wants to get three things done: a blockchain that can accommodate a billion users, more developers to implement Kin in their app, and design a mobile wallet to manage Kin.

To achieve that, the company must streamline, warns CEO Livingston. The company is reduced to just 19 employees, causing more than a hundred other employees to lose their jobs. The Kik app also closes, but as mentioned, it is not yet known when that will happen.

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