To save Kin, Kik kills Kik messenger?
In news which led to widespread incredulity late last week, Kik announced that it would be shutting the Kik messenger and downsizing to "an elite 19 person team" in a bid to survive the SEC lawsuit running in relation to the nearly USD$100M Initial Coin Offering operated by Kik in 2017 in which the Kin token was offered.
Kik messenger's (in 2016 at least) had 300 million users and 600,000 active monthly users, with 40% of teenagers in the USA using the app. Those who are still users (the figures aren't readily available) are understandably unimpressed, as is the wider blockchain community.
Questions are being rapidly asked as to why and how a company which raised USD$100M in 2017 for a token which was designed to be used inside of the Kik messenger, is now terminating the service all together.
In a Medium Post, Kik CEO Ted Livingston says:
But no matter what happens to Kik, Kin is here to stay. Kin operates on an open, decentralized infrastructure run by a dozen independent companies.
Despite asserting a new goal of the company is to "convert Kin users to Kin buyers", Mr Livingston also then says:
most cryptocurrencies rely on speculative demand... we can’t rely on speculative demand. Instead we need to become the first project that creates real demand by getting people to buy Kin to use it.
What many can agree on is that it's a very strange look for Kik to sell USD$100M of tokens in 2017, then when faced with an SEC lawsuit crowdfund a USD$5M defence fund, and then several months later fire 80% of their employees and shut down a popular messaging service in order to fight the lawsuit, while declaring no matter what, the token is "here to stay".
The ongoing Kik v SEC lawsuit will be one to watch closely.