On August 20, 2018 SludgeFeed published an article stating that “Kin (KIN)…has recently surpassed the daily active users of all the decentralized applications (DApps) on the Ethereum (ETH) blockchain.”
Huh? First, what is KIN? Second, how the f*&k did they pull that off?
Let’s head over to their website and take a look under the hood of this supposed goliath. If you go to https://kinecosystem.org/ you’ll see the timeline states that “Kik announces cryptocurrency as a first step to launching a decentralized ecosystem of digital services”. Ok – so they’re affiliated with Kik.
What is Kik? According to the website it’s a chat app created in 2009 so that you can chat with anyone – no matter the device you’re using. For those of you old enough to remember the Blackberry, back then you couldn’t chat with someone if they weren’t on the same platform as you.
They have focused on the teen age group and have raised over $120m from various investors including Union Square Ventures and Tencent (maker of WeChat). It’s important to note that WeChat is one of the world’s largest standalone mobile apps by month active users, and apparently a potential competitor to Visa, MasterCard, and American Express in the eyes of Charlie Munger.
Kin is a solution to Kik’s mission of keeping user information private, and avoiding the use of display advertising. Kin is the currency that will foster a healthy user-first economy where Kik can be a market participant rather than a landlord.
Kik is known for their custom bots – in fact, they have over 187,000 bots created by third-party developers. To put that in perspective, Facebook Messenger has approximately 300,000 bots on it’s platform.
Why are bots important? What’s the significance?
The writing is on the wall. Society is moving towards a mobile first engagement platform like Facebook Messenger, Kik, WeChat, etc. Within these platforms we are seeing ecosystems created to facilitate transactions like monetary payments, purchasing of digital goods, themes/skins for customization, and a ton more. Bots are a popular use case and simply a metric for my broader argument here.
The Kin EcoSystem Foundation has selected 40 projects from a total pool of 200 applications to showcase apps they have built for Kin. Provided with a SDK, these projects have been building their apps since for the past few months in anticipation of their virtual showcase on October 2, 2018.
Those that are able to successfully build their demo and present it that day will receive a combination of 50m KIN and $15,000. This first payout represents the beginning of a 6 month incentive program where teams can win up to 400m KIN and $60,000.
The apps submitted include everything from Social, Gaming, and Fitness to VPNs, Education, and Travel. One project that stuck out was WiCrypt. Here is the description provided by Kin’s blog post:
“WiCrypt is a new peer-to-peer internet sharing app that enables users to get rewarded for sharing their mobile data. Users will use Kin to purchase a connection to a WiCrypt hotspot. Hosts will earn Kin for providing others with an internet connection, and can receive bonuses for high ratings from those who have used their internet connection.”
For those that live in a city, a steady wi-fi connection may not be problematic but there are many who either live in rural areas or have only one service provider. As more and more of our daily lives integrates with internet based activities, the ability to hold a steady data stream is crucial. WiCrypt aims to solve this problem using Kin as it’s payment method.
I know what you’re thinking – nobody knows who KIN is – the max coin supply is 10 TRILLION and TRON has way more visibility. These are all valid points but let’s take a look at TRON, then recap what we’ve learned about KIN – I think you’ll see the parallels.
Much like how KIN used the existing Kik platform with millions of existing users to launch their token, TRON partnered with PEIWO (founded by TRON’s Founder & CEO, Justin Sun) to jumpstart theirs. PEIWO is a teen & young adult entertainment platform with approximately 10 million users where you can use TRX (TRON’s token) to purchase digital goods.
TRON is funded by some heavy-hitters including Jihan Wu – the CEO of Bitmain and advised by Jack Ma – the founder of Alibaba.
When we look at the DApps available, they aren’t quite as robust as KIN, but they include categories such as Freelancers, Radio, and Kitties.
In conclusion, we have two decentralized ecosystems targeting the teen & young adult age group, funding from highly respected VC’s and market movers, and leveraging non-crypto platforms to onboard millions of users.
While TRON seems to be focusing on a more decentralized web in general, it is not crazy to see the similarities between the two. Right now KIN is priced at 1 satoshi. That is not a typo – KIN is literally 1 satoshi right now! The risk reward here is comical. Talk about buying at the bottom.
What do you think? Is KIN TRON of the West?