I was recently asked to write a succinct piece on Kin’s vision. This is what I wrote.
I imagine millions of people sitting down with their phones each morning, providing value to the world and getting compensated. The value they provide would come in many forms, such as offering advice, hosting experiences or creating content. And the compensation would come in the form of Kin, a cryptocurrency to facilitate a digital sharing economy of equal opportunity.
I imagine developers creating thousands of digital places where people can go to provide value to each other. But instead of requiring developers to figure out how to extract value from consumers, the Kin Rewards Engine would automatically compensate developers for facilitating the exchange of value between consumers. It’s like building a digital Lyft, where people drive for each other, or a digital Airbnb, where people rent to each other. But instead of requiring these developers to figure out how to take a fee from each ride or rental, they can let consumers keep everything. The developers would instead be rewarded with Kin for helping to build the Kin Ecosystem. As developers create more of these places, more people come, and the value of the reward increases — thus attracting even more developers to create more places for more people.
I imagine a day when there are thousands of different places where people can go to share their unique talent with the world, and thousands of different places where people can go to enjoy the unique talents of others. In these places, the Kin people receive will be blind to their age, country, and race. Instead, it will be based solely on their passion and skills.
This is an ambitious vision. We want to create a digital sharing economy that doesn’t exist today. Why not start with something simpler? Why not just make Kin an alternative payment method like Bitcoin? Why not just work with retailers like Starbucks and let people pay with Kin?
The answer is that the physical world already has a currency — dollars — and for most of the physical world, dollars work quite well. Starbucks buys its coffee beans with dollars, pays its rent with dollars and pays its employees with dollars. If one day the company decides to accept Bitcoin, and Bitcoin’s value suddenly drops, Starbucks is in trouble. As a result, Starbucks could immediately convert any Bitcoin it receives into dollars, avoiding the exchange risk. But then what would be the point of using Bitcoin in the first place?
This is why the digital world is such a compelling place to launch a new cryptocurrency. Billions of people are already providing value to society in digital places — they just aren’t getting paid. They’re on message boards and in games. In social apps and chat rooms. And in this digital world, dollars don’t work. If I wanted to pay a small amount of money to get someone’s fashion advice, it would be difficult for me to send them a fraction of a dollar, but it would be easy for me to send them 10 kin.
This is the vision for Kin: a digital sharing economy of equal opportunity. It would be a world where millions of people are compensated for the talent they provide through their phones, and a world where developers get compensated for creating amazing places for consumers to provide value to each other. It would be a world where people win together by working together. It would be a digital world built on Kin.