Mobile Commerce

Messaging App Kik Rolls Out Ethereum-Based Cryptocurrency

Kik, the messaging app, is creating its own cryptocurrency in an effort to boost user numbers and get brands to engage more with the company.

According to a report, Canada-based Kik is rolling out Kin, a digital currency that will become the main payment method for any transactions conducted on the platform. Kin is being created as an ERC20 token on the Ethereum blockchain and will be able to be used on other platforms. What’s more, the report noted Kik is enabling other companies to adopt its new digital currency.

In an interview, Erin Clift, chief marketing officer at Kik, said the currency will help democratize how users pay for experiences, products and services. It may also make it easier for developers to create businesses outside of places like Facebook that try to keep users within its virtual walls.

“I think that the end result is a better suite of experiences,” Clift said in an interview. “More compelling content, more choice for consumers, and whether they engage on that, inside Kik or elsewhere on this network, it’s still good for the ecosystem.”

With Kin, users can earn currency by interacting with chatbots and other services that are on the platform created by brands, publishers and other firms. Meanwhile, the report noted companies may see Kin as a way to reward users for engaging in various tasks or activities. For instance, a brand may give Kin if a user posts about it or interacts with it. Users are able to spend their Kin via chatbot or through tipping.

The company said Kin was inspired by bitcoin, which has been growing in recent weeks, reaching a record high of $2,500 earlier in May. Kik is also creating the Kin Foundation, which will oversee the currency and circulate a set amount each day to developers. The more users use Kin, the more it will be worth, noted the report.



The pressure on banks to modernize their payments capabilities to support initiatives such as ISO 20022 and instant/real time payments has been exacerbated by the emergence of COVID-19 and the compelling need to quickly scale operations due to the rapid growth of contactless payments, and subsequent increase in digitization. Given this new normal, the need for agility and optimization across the payments processing value chain is imperative.

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