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Introducing the Kin Rewards Engine

We all know that there are a few dominant players in the online space. They have become so ubiquitous that we almost don’t need to call them out by name. (Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Apple, and Amazon- you know we’re talking about you). But many people don’t realize their near absolute economic dominance over the digital world. With combined valuations of over three trillion dollars and an almost 40 percent share of Nasdaq value, competing against them seems a near impossibility. The realization that this technological oligarchy is choking competition and making the digital space increasingly inaccessible is what drove us to create Kin, and what has made it so important for us to develop a more fair way for developers to monetize, through the Kin Rewards Engine (KRE).

The KRE was envisioned as a way to drive the growth of the Kin Ecosystem through a simple, predictive, and transparent incentive for developers, based on their contributions to the health and growth of the Kin Ecosystem.

The purpose of the KRE is to translate Kin’s philosophy into an incentivized reality: rewarding developers for taking part in an open, sustainable, and compelling ecosystem of developers. An ecosystem in which developers link arms to compete with the giants together, building a better future for the online world while also gaining revenue for their efforts.

The KRE guiding principles

When building the Kin Rewards Engine formula and process, three core principles were at the forefront of our minds: transparency, fairness, and efficiency. Each of these principles impacts KRE planning in an important way.


Transparency is critical, and it impacts our design in two main ways. First, the KRE reward criteria and distribution should be simple to understand, and easy for developers to predict their expected rewards. Secondly, we want to be transparent by documenting and sharing each new KRE iteration. Moreover, with each change made, we want to put effort into being engaged in active discussions with our developers to get their feedback and concerns.

We will be building a dedicated KRE subreddit to promote conversation and questions about everything KRE-related. We encourage you all to join the discussion here.

Fair and equal opportunity for everyone

The KRE aims to impact the growth of the Kin Ecosystem. The more a developer contributes to the growth of the ecosystem, the bigger their reward should be — it’s that simple.

The barriers for joining the Kin Ecosystem and receiving KRE rewards should be as low as possible. Once a developer downloads the Kin software development kit (Kin SDK) and creates amazing experiences, they will get rewarded by the KRE for the value they create.

Kin, as a cryptocurrency, offers unique value for developers by creating a win-win situation: The more users that participate in the ecosystem, the more value Kin gains. This translates into better monetization for participating developers, big and small. By being part of an ecosystem, rather than having to go it alone, smaller developers now have a fair chance to create a sustainable source of revenue.

We expect that participating developers will be fair to everyone as well. This means being fair to users and developers alike. For users, it is avoiding offensive and inappropriate content, not discriminating or being misleading, and, above all, being respectful. For your fellow developers, who share this interest in building a more fair world, there will be no advantage gained by performing fraudulent behaviors. The Kin Foundation has zero tolerance for unfair, disrespectful, and malicious behavior, and the foundation will hold the right to exclude developers from the KRE as a response to such actions.


Finally, for all of this to work, we have to make it as efficient and accessible as possible. This is particularly true when creating the on-boarding and payout process for developers. Just as there will be iterations for the KRE formula, we will also iterate the payout process until we find a way to make sure developers are getting their well-deserved rewards as quickly and seamlessly as possible.

Initial KRE formula

In its first iteration, the KRE will incentivize daily active spenders (DAS), which is defined as the total number of unique users spending Kin in each app, either by sending Kin to a fellow user (peer-to-peer) or by paying the developer for service or value.

At the end of each day, the total amount of DAS per developer will be calculated, and developers will be rewarded for their relative contribution to the total DAS pool. The daily reward calculation is as follows:

The KRE’s initial formula

To increase their share of the reward, developers will need to increase their share in the DAS pool.

The reason we chose to start with DAS over other metrics, is our belief that this metric is simple to understand, reflects a healthy and growing economy, and is less susceptible to being gamed.

Ultimately, this is only the first iteration of the KRE. Upcoming versions of this formula will include more comprehensive calculations. They will take into consideration feedback from the community and insights learned from previous versions and additional collaboration.


While the first reward amount hasn’t been decided yet, the payout process is taking shape. As of now, KRE grants will be calculated daily and aggregated for a monthly payout, which will be executed within 30 days from the day of the developer’s eligibility for their reward. For example, at the end of every day in March, we will calculate a developers contribution to the DAS pool and their share of the daily reward. The developer will be eligible for their reward by the end of March, assuming they do not violate the Kin Ecosystem’s rules, and the payout will be sent by the end of April.

This slightly longer cadence, in the beginning, is due to the fact the payout process is done manually at this stage. Since we didn’t want to hold back payout until a fully automated fraud-proof process will be created, we are starting with a manual process. This will allow us to achieve two things: First, making sure everyone gets paid successfully. Second, testing the payout process and identifying the stages that need to be automated for a faster, seamless payout process in later stages.

While anyone is able to participate in the Kin Ecosystem, fraudulent and abusive behavior will not be tolerated and will be excluded from participating in the KRE. Our Terms of Use will define what is and isn’t acceptable.

The Kin Rewards Engine marks the beginning of a new, more fair, and open way for developers everywhere to be compensated for their work. This will be an ongoing iterative process where both the formula and the payment process will be modified and improved over time. Your feedback and comments are not only welcomed, but they are also needed in order to make sure the KRE takes shape to best serve the ecosystem and participating developers.

You are invited to join the discussion, leave a comment, or clap to show your excitement.

We are surely excited, and we hope you are as well.




Kin is money for the digital world. Earn, spend, and transfer value across an ecosystem of apps and services. Get paid for developing engaging user experiences with Kin.

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