So what exactly are we doing here?
Before we dive in, let’s clarify one thing. You’ve heard us speak about an impending “migration,” but it’s really an “addition.” We’re planning to add Stellar as a second blockchain in addition to Ethereum.
This is a complicated process, but we will explain the main details in this FAQ and will follow up over the coming weeks with more information. So if something isn’t clear right away, don’t panic! Just let us know in the comments, start a conversation in one of our Telegram groups, or reach out by carrier pigeon. We’ve got you covered. We will include the most common questions in follow-up FAQs.
And now for the main event!
FAQ, Part 1
What has it meant when you’ve said you are “migrating” Kin to Stellar?
Migration usually refers to moving between systems in one direction. In this case, however, the “bi-directional” migration of Kin to Stellar means we will be using Stellar as an additional blockchain that runs in parallel to Ethereum — so we will use both Ethereum and Stellar side-by-side. You can hold your tokens on Ethereum or use them on Stellar, as detailed here. After the second phase of our Stellar plans is completed, you will be able to swap tokens between the two blockchains (and they will be completely equal in value).
What are the main improvements of the addition of a blockchain like Stellar?
We have detailed our roadblocks on the Ethereum blockchain, in addition to what our considerations are for our next blockchain. To keep it short, fees are much lower on blockchains like Stellar, the blockchain is more predictable, and confirmation times for transactions are much faster. In addition, throughput is higher since the network is less congested. This will allow us to scale Kin as we build our ecosystem of digital services.
Has any token gone through this process before?
Well, there have been some “unidirectional” migrations before — in which projects were launched on one blockchain and eventually moved completely to a different blockchain. (A good example is when Storj moved from Counterparty to Ethereum.) But these migrations are different because they go in one direction. In our case, we plan to keep both blockchains running side-by-side. We’re not aware of any project that has performed this type of migration.
What will happen to my ERC20 Kin on Ethereum?
Nothing. You can leave your Kin on Ethereum for as long as you want. After Phase 2 of our plan, you will be able to swap to Stellar if you choose to do so (and even swap it back to Ethereum later). It will be the same token, just implemented on two different networks. We’ve coordinated a swap ratio between implementations that will be 1:1.
Are you going to mint new Kin tokens?
No. When the process is completed, the total number of Kin tokens in circulation (on both Ethereum and Stellar together) will remain equal to the number that we originally cited in the whitepaper — 10 trillion. The total number of tokens can never change.
What will happen to our ERC20 tokens? Will Kin remain compatible with ERC20? In short, can I keep my ERC20 tokens?
Yes. If you wish, you can keep your ERC20 tokens for as long as you want without any impact.
What will happen to the tokens that are tradeable on an exchange?
Nothing. Since you can keep your tokens on Ethereum, if they stay in an exchange they will just stay on Ethereum.
FAQ, Part 2
When will this happen? How much time will it take?
We are launching the addition of Stellar now, so this first phase will take place throughout Q2. After that, it will take some time to develop the swap mechanism (Phase 2). This is the more complex part, so we don’t have an exact timeline yet — likely a few months.
Since you’re not required to swap your Ethereum tokens to Stellar, this timeline has no impact on you. You can leave your tokens on Ethereum (ERC20) for as long as you want without any impact.
What is the bi-directional migration/addition process?
The addition of Stellar will be done in two phases:
- Phase 1: Issuing Kin2 tokens on the Stellar network to be used within the Kin Ecosystem (in digital services).
- Phase 2: Enable 1:1 swapping of KIN tokens between Stellar and Ethereum.
Will the migration be executed via a Stellar network trustline exchange set up by the Kin Foundation to receive ETH-KIN and give Stellar-Kin?
To delve in further, we need to understand the two phases a bit more.
- First, we will first be creating a new ‘Kin2’ Stellar asset to be used by Kik users, ecosystem partners and the ‘Kinit’ beta standalone app. This will be done by creating a Stellar asset and set a trustline from holders of Stellar accounts.
- In the second phase, we will enable swapping between KIN/Stellar and KIN/ERC20 (both directions). The swap will be elective, and everyone who holds KIN/ERC20 outside of digital service apps will be able to swap tokens between blockchains. The actual swap procedure will be well described in comprehensive posts coming up soon!
Initially, however, with any asset in Stellar, a trustline will be set-up and the swapping will be upon request.
How will the transfer from ERC20 tokens to Stellar assets be dealt with?
This is only for Phase 2. There are several options we are considering since, as discussed before, Phase 2 will take some time. The main issues that we are concerned about are:
- Understanding how to be fully compliant with applicable regulations
- Assuring security for those who swap
- Understanding the tax implications that may exist
What wallet apps will support the new token?
For tokens that remain on Ethereum, all standard wallets that support Ethereum will continue to do so.
For KIN on Stellar, some of the wallets here support Stellar assets so they will be able to be used with our tokens.
Can you confirm the new token will be compatible with the Ledger Nano S?
Again, it’s not exactly a new token so you’ll be able to switch back and forth between the implementations on Ethereum to Stellar. ERC20 tokens remain compatible with Ledger Nano. Since you can leave your tokens on Ethereum for as long as you want, if you care about Ledger Nano support, just keep your tokens on Ethereum.
Will the actual KIN/ERC20 tokens’ information be deleted from the Ethereum blockchain?
No, the existing Kin tokens on Ethereum can stay on Ethereum. All past transaction data remains on the Ethereum blockchain. If you decide to swap (in Phase 2) any of the Kin/Ethereum to Kin/Stellar, the token will be removed from circulation on Ethereum and added to circulation on Stellar. No new tokens are created, so you’ll be able to move the existing tokens back and forth between blockchains.
What comes first? The standalone app or the switch?
The switch. The standalone app will run on the Stellar platform.
When Kin adds Stellar, what assurances are there that the tokens will remain liquid?
Again, we are just adding another optional blockchain in parallel. You can leave your tokens on Ethereum for as long as you want, so liquidity will not be impacted negatively by this process.
Is there a similar smart contract like Bancor in the works?
Not that we’re directly involved in.
My tokens have been stuck in mercatox processing for almost a month now. They are meant to be deposited in MyEtherWallet. What will happen to my coins if they process it after you add the Stellar blockchain?
Since you can leave your tokens on Ethereum, nothing will change for these tokens.
When Kin moves off the Ethereum blockchain and onto something else, will our tokens be converted automatically, or is there a process we will have to follow?
We’re not moving off Ethereum, we’re adding Stellar as a second option in parallel. If you choose to swap your tokens from Ethereum to Stellar, you will need to follow a manual process. This will be part of Phase 2. You will also be able to swap back to Ethereum later.
Will you continue development of Ethereum libraries after migration?
Yes, but will less emphasis. We see Stellar as the main avenue for scale so we expect to focus most of our efforts there. We plan to make sure that Ethereum still works as expected since you can leave your tokens there.
Is Kin going to be transferring the vesting contract onto Stellar as well? Would Stellar even support that sort of contract? Or will Kin allow the smart contracts to continue to execute on the Ethereum chain and just convert the tokens to Stellar on a daily basis through the trustline?
No, any vesting contracts on Ethereum will stay on Ethereum. We don’t see any reason to move them since tokens can remain on Ethereum.
Assuming the plan is to release the SDKs by the end of Q1, and Kin seems to have abandoned the Ethereum SDKs at this point, then the token migration must be a prerequisite for the SDK release, correct?
So quick correction: the release of the SDKs are forecast for the beginning of Q2. If you want to incorporate Kin in an app or a digital service, you will need to work with Stellar and the new Stellar SDK. This means that any tokens that will need to be imported to your app will have to be swapped to Stellar first in Phase 2.
Will Kin continue using an off-chain solution to credit balances for pending transactions? Stellar transactions are supposed to be 3–5 seconds but that’s still much slower than typical web UX.
So, to make a slight correction, there is no off-chain process for Kin. Pending transactions were only reflected in balance display but not in the wallets themselves. To be more precise, if a transaction eventually failed, balance will show only the approved transaction in time. Since we have the product and end user in mind, we can find a solution in the blockchain that will enable the smoothest user experience. Every blockchain has its own challenges that requires different solutions in UX perspectives. To clarify, “pending transactions” is a technical internal term of the Etheruem blockchain, but not of Stellar. It is implementation specific.
Would it be accurate to say that one of the goals of your long-term collaboration with Orbs is to (eventually) end up with a blockchain that will be fast enough to not require these off-chain solutions?
Just to be clear, there is no off-chain transfer of Kin anywhere in the system. Long-term strategy of connecting with any additional blockchain would be to satisfy the experience for the Kin ecosystem end-users.
What aspects of the Stellar network are still not ideal for Kin and will require upstream improvements or eventually a third and final “end-game” chain? Can you share any other features that potential partners would like to see that Stellar isn’t capable of at the moment?
These challenges will show themselves over time, but we know some of them already. One of the difficulties with Stellar, for example, is the lack of smart contracts. As we pursue our longer term collaborations with emerging blockchains (namely Orbs) we’ll go into these concerns in more detail.