Why KIN will be a $100B+ Network
[10 Reasons Kin will be a Top Cryptocurrency and Reach a 100 Billion Dollar Market Capitalization and Beyond]
Why is Kin important?
Kin is a cryptocurrency created by the team behind Kik Messenger, a chat app that reached over 300 million registered users worldwide at its peak. Like many consumer apps, Kik had trouble finding a way to make money without collecting and exploiting user data. Unlike other companies, however, they refused to take that route to monetization and instead sought to innovate with something new.
After experimenting for years with virtual currency in the form of “Kik Points”, Kik came to the conclusion that there was a thirst for collectible points and virtual experiences that could serve as a model for monetization — but it wasn’t enough. Even with millions of addicted users, higher engagement and retention, and major advertisers willing to participate in the experiment, the model still had inefficiencies that needed to be addressed. Namely, Kik had centralized control of the issuance of Kik Points, which meant that advertisers were concerned that they could be diluted at any time. Making matters more complicated, Kik was an insular economy; because users could not utilize these points anywhere else, the potential for network effects and value accrual was severely bottlenecked. The answer to these issues would finally materialize thanks to an innovation happening in an adjacent industry…
Around the same time, a new virtual currency known as Bitcoin was quietly taking the world by storm. A transparent financial system was being developed that allowed strangers around the world to collaborate by creating value for a new kind of money. This led the team at Kik to begin developing their new idea — a cryptocurrency for developers and consumers. By creating Kin, a new monetization model was born that would allow developers of all sizes to band together and create value for the same network. That is the philosophy behind Kin: Working together to succeed together.
Why Kin will be a 100 Billion Dollar Network —
- It is solving a real problem.
- The Kin Ecosystem has real teams, professional affiliations, and a highly active community.
- The total addressable market is massive.
- The technological infrastructure can support billions of users.
- It is one of three cryptocurrencies to be scrutinized by the US Government and not be required to register as a security.
- The economic design is optimized to incentivize developers to create value for the token.
- It shows real utility today, with potential for even more tomorrow.
- Distribution mechanisms and supply are fit for mass adoption.
- It’s designed to be user-friendly and developer friendly.
- It’s not Bitcoin — it‘s something new entirely.
1. It is solving a real problem.
The world of cryptocurrency and blockchain is full of novel technology, but it is often short on practical applications. Kin is different in that it was created as a direct consequence of the monetization issues faced by companies like Kik, which are problems that almost any app developer can relate to.
In order to make money, developers often resort to exploiting user data, serving up ads against the will of the user, or contributing to the network of their own competitors due to the monopolies held by large tech companies like Facebook. In other words, almost all of the options available to a developer involve making the user experience worse or taking advantage of the same users that make their platform valuable. Kin was created as a solution to this very real problem, as opposed to being a fancy new technology that no one asked for.
By monetizing with Kin, developers can win by allowing their users to win. Now users can be paid for spending their time in an app, while developers are paid for driving the adoption of Kin, all while achieving higher retention and engagement along the way. By working together on the same virtual currency, more use cases and value are able to be created than would otherwise be achieved by any single entity. We can already see this in action as consumer apps like Rave, Perfect365, Madlipz, Kik, and more have been able to generate meaningful revenue weekly via the “Kin Rewards Engine”, an incentive layer similar to Bitcoin mining, but for developers who facilitate the adoption and distribution of Kin to consumers.
2. The Kin Ecosystem has real teams, professional affiliations, and a highly active community.
If you are familiar with cryptocurrency, then you know it is common for a project to be maintained by less than professional teams. In fact, it is not uncommon for a project to be run by an anonymous community member or an informal organization without even a real corporate identity or headquarters.
Once again, Kin is different. It was created by Kik Interactive, a unicorn tech company backed by prestigious investors like Union Square Ventures (known for their investments into companies like Twitter, Tumblr, SoundCloud, and more) and Tencent (known for WeChat, Epic Games, Snapchat, and more). Esteemed American Venture Capitalist Fred Wilson sits on the Board of Directors of both Kik and Coinbase, offering leadership to a core team contributing to the project. William Mougayar, an advisor to the Ethereum Foundation and author of The Business Blockchain, is a Director on the Board at the Kin Foundation, an NPO that helps oversee the economy. Consumer apps like Madlipz, Rave, and Perfect365 are integrating and helping to improve the developer tools available for Kin, such as mobile SDKs and additional modules/features.
Topping it all off, the Kin Community is one of the most active in crypto, with an impressive number of independent contributions beyond simply promoting the asset, such as the development of tools, the offering of services, and even the contribution of critical feedback for improvement. You can often find the community participating in healthy debate on the direction of the project, and the integrity of each others’ contributions. This is a breath of fresh air for anyone who knows what the typical crypto-community can be like, where the main prerogative is typically to sell the currency to the world while pretending it is perfect. This will allow Kin to become greater than it ever would otherwise because the adversarial nature of creating a monetary system requires a critical and skeptical mindset — not one of trust.
3. The total addressable market is massive.
Calculating a total addressable market for a product is at times more art than science, but there are four key areas in which it can be expected that Kin will own some piece of the market. While there is likely to be some overlap and there are more markets to penetrate than are listed here (e.g. web apps, gaming, etc.), we can already start to comprehend the enormity of the opportunity for any product or organization that manages to receive a piece of the oncoming inflow:
- Digital Currency Market — estimated to reach $20T(+)
Many analysts believe that Bitcoin alone will represent a market capitalization similar to that of Gold ($8T+), while others believe that projects like the Digital Dollar, Digital RMB, and Facebook Libra will push the industry to replace money entirely ($100T+). While no one can say for sure, it is very likely that the digital currency industry will represent a lot of value in the coming years, and Kin is in a position to own a sizeable piece of that incoming revenue. The market is still young and network valuation methods sparse, but enthusiasm around the space is red-hot. That said, most of the top cryptocurrencies today are simply not useful and evaluated entirely based on speculative potential. Many of the top projects are attempting to be “better Bitcoins” and “better Ethereums” (the current #1 and #2 projects) while offering very little in real-world utility. Unlike those other projects, Kin has been building its own niche that does not compete with BTC or ETH but rather complements them as something unique and distinct. Better yet, Kin has been completely focused on achieving real-world utility rather than attracting speculation. By these merits alone, Kin already stands out as a top cryptocurrency project that deserves to rank above many of the “zombie-chains” with no utility and clone projects that occupy the market today. Once Kin is available on major exchanges for purchasers to access, it could very well be that the market is finally able to price-in this information.
- Advertising Market — estimated to reach $769B
Advertising is a big opportunity in its own right, and Kin is already starting to break ground. One of the main draws of Kin as a monetization model is that it allows developers to pay users for the value they create. Take, for example, the integration into Kik Messenger. Users are able to engage with sponsored experiences such as videos or games, and then are paid for their time in Kin, while the developer also generates ad revenue. It isn't hard to imagine a future where consumers demand to be paid whenever they are served with an ad within a web or mobile application, and with Kin it is a win-win that aligns an app with its users.
- Mobile App Market — estimated to reach $407B
This one is obvious, but as the first target market for Kin, it was custom-made as a monetization model for mobile apps. As a network that apps of all sizes can join, along with a slew of easy-to-use SDKs and innovative modules already available for developers today, Kin is in position to begin owning a piece of the mobile app market.
- Digital Payments Market — estimated to reach $154B
It was recently announced that Kik Interactive was going all-in on the development of a payments app built specifically for Kin:
Seemingly intended to be a Kin-specific rival to apps like Cash App, “Code” is meant to make it easy and exciting to buy and use Kin. With a dedicated user-friendly app, developed by the minds of Kik Messenger, the Kin network will be able to capture a piece of the digital payments space for itself.
4. The technological infrastructure can support billions of users.
One of the dirty secrets in the digital currency space is that many of the projects could never actually support mass adoption because the network would become too slow and expensive to use if they became too popular. It is a safe bet that consumers are not going to wait hours for transactions to confirm or pay massive fees in order to use a digital currency in their everyday lives. Consumers have come to expect a frictionless and seamless experience in their payment apps, and Kin is one of the only cryptocurrencies able to provide that natively.
Kin is now a token on the Solana blockchain, a new crypto network with transaction speeds and throughput to rival traditional payment networks such as Visa and PayPal. They achieve this using a novel consensus method that revolutionizes the way distributed ledger technology can be utilized. As one of the first projects to support Solana with real users, we will see a cryptocurrency able to practically (not just theoretically) test the limits of mass adoption for the first time.
5. It is one of three cryptocurrencies to be scrutinized by the government and not be required to register as a security.
In 2017, Kik revealed that they were cooperating with an SEC investigation into the initial public sale of Kin. Then the SEC filed a lawsuit against Kik claiming that by pooling and using the funds from the sale to develop the product, they had conducted an unregistered “security offering” (i.e. they offered investment contracts to purchasers based on the expectation of profit).
Kik lost this lawsuit, but fortunately for the retail investors involved, the SEC allowed the project to continue. In fact, they have encouraged all projects that fear they may have violated securities law in the past to come forward and cooperate with them to find a workable solution, showing an amicable attitude towards those willing to collaborate, and a sincere belief that there is potential for innovation from the space. While almost all other token sales investigated by the SEC resulted in an obligatory registration as a security (which would also result in a number of trading restrictions that would make it impossible to work with as a consumer), Kin as an underlying asset was not required to be registered. So while Kik may have conducted an unregistered securities offering and entered into investment contracts with public sale participants, the SEC did not punish the rest of the ecosystem for their error.
That means Kin officially joins the ranks of Bitcoin and Ethereum in being the only cryptocurrencies investigated and not subsequently required to be registered as a security by the US Government.
6. The economic design is optimized to incentivize developers to create value for the token.
While Bitcoin is designed to enter circulation via “miners” who play the part of bank tellers by verifying transactions, Kin enters circulation via the “Kin Rewards Engine” which pays out Kin on a weekly basis to the developers that have integrated it, based on their economic activity. That means developers are financially incentivized to drive the adoption of Kin as a currency to their users and create value for the token as per the guidelines of the engine.
This addresses two fundamental aspects of cryptocurrency network development that have proven to be problematic:
- Developer Funding — As great as Bitcoin is, it has a major issue when it comes to developer funding. Developers working on the project are only funded by donations, or whatever business model they manage to muster within their entrepreneurial ventures while taking on all the risk. Kin has developer funding baked into its token economics —it is a developer monetization model that allows you to get paid for contributing to the ecosystem. There are even ways to get paid for contributing to the core project by submitting Kin Improvement Proposals, creating tools, generating educational content, and more.
- Developer Integration — In countries where the local currency and economy aren’t in shambles, you might find a large number of crypto-skeptics asking the question “why would I ever use this?”. The same way that miners are enticed to join and dedicate resources to mining Bitcoin, developers are enticed to join and dedicate resources to earning Kin. In order to do this, they have to integrate Kin into their app and boost adoption.
The Kin Rewards Engine has grown in sophistication over the years, giving it a competitive advantage against similar projects that might try and copy the Kin model. For example, Props, another consumer token network that launched after Kin with a similar premise, is still rewarding developers merely for generating transactions, which is similar to the first iteration of the Kin Rewards Engine. The KRE, on the other hand, is currently on its 3rd large iteration, designed to reward apps that generate demand for Kin by their users. They have also created an open Kin Improvement Proposal process that allows the algorithm to evolve and harden over time by being scrutinized and improved by the public. This will allow the rewards engine to be refined in real-time alongside the needs of the network.
7. It shows real utility today, with potential for even more tomorrow.
Kin is already one of the most used cryptocurrencies today, and due to the nature of its utility, is likely the most used by mainstream consumers overall.
Thanks to the Kin Rewards Engine, we can expect this adoption to grow alongside the network. For years, the Kin cryptocurrency was limited by a lack of access to exchanges and therefore continued to fall in price due to low liquidity as developers locked in their profits from contributing to the ecosystem. Despite the challenges, Kin manages to have a transaction count that rivals and surpasses many of the top cryptocurrencies. Now that Kin is free to list on those exchanges and begin to grow in available liquidity and perceived value, the incentive to join the network will also increase, allowing it to reach previously unseen levels of success.
8. Distribution and supply mechanisms are fit for billions of users.
In order to get people using a new form of money, you need to get it into their hands. In order to do that, there have to be robust options available for the average person to enter and exit that economy. For Bitcoin, coins enter circulation exclusively via miners, which means that for someone to join the Bitcoin economy, they have to purchase coins from an exchange. While in its early days Bitcoin was freely “airdropped” and given away to a large number of users by miners, anyone hoping to join the Bitcoin economy today will have to navigate their way through purchasing it themselves.
Kin enters circulation directly through developers, who are incentivized to also distribute Kin to users. Mainstream consumers can earn Kin in a variety of apps by playing games, engaging with ads, and more. This makes it much easier for the average person to attain than purchasing it on a cryptocurrency exchange. This has resulted in more than 44 million users earning Kin to-date, a wide distribution that will strengthen the network effects of the economy as it grows.
Another issue when it comes to the practicality of digital currency for a mass audience is the supply design of a coin. Bitcoin, for example, was designed to be a long-term store of value against infinite-supply fiat monetary systems. There will only ever be 21,000,000 Bitcoin, which means that users handling Bitcoin are often dealing in fractions and decimals. For example, at the time of writing this, $100 of Bitcoin is 0.0052 BTC. This is extremely cumbersome for everyday users and is likely to worsen as Bitcoin becomes more valuable.
By comparison, Kin’s supply seems extremely large. Also adhering to a philosophy of maximum total supply to guarantee scarcity, there will only ever be 10 trillion Kin by the end of its life. While it will take many decades to centuries for all 10 trillion to enter the economy, between 1–2 trillion are in circulation today — a number that mirrors the number of US Dollars. Thanks to this seemingly large supply, Kin is better suited to be used by billions of people internationally in their every day lives in reasonable denominations once it achieves mass adoption — much closer to the way dollars are used today.
9. It’s designed to be user-friendly and developer-friendly.
Have you ever tried to explain how to use cryptocurrency to a family member or friend? If so, then you probably understand how early we are and how far we still have to go when it comes to nailing a user-friendly experience.
Kin comes from the same people who made Kik Messenger, so it comes as no surprise that an intuitive user experience was one of the key philosophies behind its technical design. Kin is implemented into applications via a streamlined software development kit, and additional features can be added via “modules” if the developer wishes to do so. Integrating Kin into an app is as easy as it would be to integrate advertising, analytics, or payment SDKs. These SDKs facilitate simple tutorials, wallet creation and backup functions, and other features that put Kin head-and-shoulders above most, if not all, other digital currency projects in terms of technical hurdles for integration.
10. It’s not the next Bitcoin — it‘s something new entirely.
When looking into potential cryptocurrency projects to support, a common question that often comes up is, what is the next Bitcoin? I am here to tell you that Kin is not the next Bitcoin, it is something else entirely — and that is a good thing. Only Bitcoin is Bitcoin, and it is all the world will ever need for that unique value proposition. All the projects that claim to be chasing the elusive status of being the “next” or “better” Bitcoin should be treated like potential scams because there is no need for such a thing. If what you really mean to ask, is “what is the next cryptocurrency to go from nearly-nothing to providing as much value to the world as Bitcoin?”, then the answer might be Kin. That is precisely because it is providing a valid and unique value proposition to the world without competing with Bitcoin, but by complementing it. If Bitcoin is ever to reach $1M+, whereby the smallest unit of Bitcoin is equivalent to one penny, then it will also be useful to have a larger supply token capable of micro-transactions at high speeds to go along with it, and that provides its own advantages as a standalone currency.
Kin has all the trappings of a top cryptocurrency; even a Bitcoin-only maximalist would have a hard time arguing that it isn’t at least a “useful experiment”, provided they are open-minded enough to acknowledge it. It has a valuable use case, it has been through legal scrutiny, it is built for mass adoption, and now, with all the foundational pieces in place, I believe it has a chance at joining Bitcoin and Ethereum as a top 3 project. Whether or not it ever lives up to that potential, I cannot say. That is up to the free market.
Disclaimer: The cryptocurrency market is highly volatile, and digital currencies should only be considered for a speculative “investment” with a full understanding of the risks involved. This article contains educated guesses and projections about the future value of a cryptocurrency, which merely reflect my own opinion. Nothing in this article should be construed as financial advice. I hold Kin, which means that I, along with every other Kin holder, would financially benefit from the value being higher. Always do your own research.