Kin Android development tutorial — part 1 — Introduction to Kin

Luc Hendriks
Jun 15 · 4 min read

So you want to build an Android app using an actual cryptocurrency, but you aren’t sure how to get started working with a blockchain technology? Look no further! This series of blog posts will guide you through building your first app and integrating Kin, the developer’s digital currency, to help engage your users by creating rewarding experiences. At the end of the ride, you should have a simple working app where you can earn and spend Kin, which can serve as a bootstrap to build your own awesome cryptocurrency-enabled app!

This series of blog posts will contain 12 parts, each explaining a critical part of developing the app and transacting with the Kin blockchain without the need to understand the underlying technology. This part is the first: an introduction to Kin and what we are going to build. I will add the others parts here as soon as they are published. To get you started, Kin launched a developer program, a suite of SDKs and modules created for developers to allow for easy integration into the Kin Ecosystem.

Table of contents:

What is Kin?

Kin is a cryptocurrency built for the digital world. It was created by Kik, one of the world’s most popular messaging apps. Initially, Kin was built on the Ethereum blockchain, but slow speeds and high fees were not conducive to platform meant for micro-transactions. This is when Kin pivoted to their own custom fork of the Stellar codebase, the Kin Blockchain.

Kin is an ecosystem of apps where you can buy, earn and spend Kin and even transfer that Kin from one app to another. Of course Kin will be integrated in Kik, but as of writing today there are over 40 other apps that have integrated Kin. For example, you can now earn Kin by walking using KinFit or by completing quizzes in Speed Genius. You can even send Kin from KinFit to Speed Genius in order to help you initially to buy extra time and make other microtransactions. Imagine the possibilities! Once the ecosystem is fully up and running, you can earn and spend Kin across thousands of apps that will be connected to each other.

Kin is still in its early stages of building the ecosystem, but it is already the most used cryptocurrency in the world in terms of utility of usage. Even more so than Bitcoin or Ethereum! You can check it for yourself, here is a detailed stats page: https://public.tableau.com/profile/kinfoundation#!/vizhome/Kinecosystemstats/Kinecosystemstats.

Everyone can build something with Kin. In essence, a blockchain is basically a big Excel sheet with transactions “account A sent X {coin} to account B” (not talking about smart contracts and things like that, just the transactional part). Kin has made available a suite of SDKs that make it very easy to make those kind of transactions. Then you can use those SDKs to set up a payment or tipping system, use Kin as premium currency, whatever your imagination can think of.

One of the strongest points of Kin is the Kin Rewards Engine (KRE). This is an incentive mechanism that rewards developers when their users are making lots of transactions. So if you develop an app and your users transact in Kin, you (the developer) is awarded Kin for that. This means you can actually make money if your users are using your app, aligning the incentive of developers and users. This is in contrast to advertising, which is good for developers but bad for the users. It is also in contrast to subscription models, which are also good for developers but bad for the users.

This is just a very quick introduction into Kin, there is much more to learn about Kin, the Kin Foundation, the technology, etc. I highly suggest to read their blog posts.

End goal

This is a long series of blog posts that will explain all details of building an Android app and using the Kin SDKs to create blockchain earn and spend operations. The end product is a simple application where you can earn and spend Kin. An important point I will focus on as well is security. Kin is an actual cryptocurrency that can be bought and sold, so if you make your earning and spending operations insecure, someone might steal everything you have. The series will have 4 main “chapters”: setting up an Android project, setting up a backend to securely interact with your app and the Kin blockchain, creating earns securely and creating spends securely.

Click here for part II — Creating a new Android project

Kin Blog

Kin is a cryptocurrency used for value exchange in a decentralized ecosystem of digital applications. Kin’s goal is to enable apps and their users to thrive.

Thanks to Chase Barker

Luc Hendriks

Written by

Crypto (mainly Kin) — (Astro)physics — Machine Learning — Programming (mainly serverless) — luchendriks.com

Kin Blog

Kin Blog

Kin is a cryptocurrency used for value exchange in a decentralized ecosystem of digital applications. Kin’s goal is to enable apps and their users to thrive.

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