• Cryptoasset Report
  • December 21, 2018

Kin is an ERC20 payment token used within the Kik messaging ecosystem, designed to allow content developers to generate an income relative to their creations’ popularity, without relying on advertising.


Users can earn Kin by chatting with a Kik bot or watching sponsors’ advertising videos. In turn, Kin is used to purchase digital goods and services, such as bidding to join VIP chat groups with celebrities, interacting with premium bots, and unlocking exclusive content like bots, emojis, and stickers.

The project is managed through the Kin Foundation, which oversees the growth of the Kin ecosystem. The Kik team, led by CEO Ted Livingston, played a central role in the Kin currency’s development. Kik, incorporated in 2009, is an instant messaging platform that is primarily used by teens in the United States. Coinfund and Cointree have partnered with Kik, supporting the project with blockchain specific technical expertise. The Kin token sale raised $97 million in 2017 to fund project development.

Kik is a leading messaging platforms amongst the teenage and young adult market, particularly in the US, with over 15 million monthly active users and above 250 million messages sent per day. Kik does not intend to monetise from reselling their customer activity and data, and has developed Kin in pursuit of discovering new ways to generate revenue from social media outside of the existing revenue streams, which, due to economies of scale, are gradually becoming monopolised by the tech giants.

Kin is a result of Kik’s experiments with ‘Kik Points’, which the platform added early 2014 to assess consumer willingness to transact in-app. Kik Points could be used to buy exclusive content, such as emojis, artwork, and stickers, which could then be sent to friends. In addition, bots were a common Kik expense, with one popular bot being the ‘Secret Admirer’ bot, which sent anonymous messages with varying levels of assurance depending upon Kik Points spent. Meanwhile, Kik Points could be earned by chatting with a Kik bot and watching advertising videos from Kik sponsors.

Similar to Kik Points, users can spend Kin on a range of content produced by independent developers. Kin is not a currency exclusive to the Kik platform, and has been adopted by apps like Perfect365 and Nearby. Users can earn Kin on Kik by completing tutorials, polls, surveys, or other tasks and Kik launched a Kin marketplace Q2 of 2018 where users can purchase premium themes for chat screens. Other discussed uses for Kin include include bidding to join VIP chat groups with celebrities, interacting with premium bots, tipping administers and unlocking exclusive content such as bots, emojis, and stickers.

The Kin Foundation manages the Kin ‘Social Ecosystem’ and is involved in monitoring Kin use amongst partners. The foundation also administers the Kin Reward Engine, which generates daily rewards for content developers in proportion to their content’s contribution to the ecosystem. A digital service’s daily reward is a function of the total daily reward, the size of that service economy, and the total size of the service economy: further details can be found here. Although the foundation will initially be centrally governed, it intends to guide Kin’s transition to a decentralised and autonomous network.

Asset Details

Kin is a payment token, earned and spent on an ecosystem of apps. End users can earn earn Kin through completing tasks like surveys, quizzes, while content developers who produce popular goods or services are compensated in Kin through a rewards engine. The total fixed supply of Kin is ten trillion. Ten percent of these tokens were allocated in the project’s token sale, with proceeds to used to acquire content creators via marketing and deploying the Kin foundation. Three trillion Kin were allocated to Kik, with 10% vesting per quarter for 10 quarters, and the final six trillion were secured within the Kin Rewards engine, which will release 20% of the Kin rewards’ remaining supply in perpetuity per annum.