Messaging app Kik to shut down as company focuses on Kin cryptocurrency
MANILA, Philippines – Messaging app Kik is shutting down, Kik Interactive CEO Ted Livingston announced on Thursday, September 24, in a post on Medium.
The company will refocus on its ongoing legal battle against the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regarding Kin, its cryptocurrency.
Livingston said, “Instead of selling some of our Kin into the limited liquidity that exists today, we made the decision to focus our current resources on the few things that matter most."
The staffing changes will reduce the headcount of the company to "an elite 19 person team," but will reduce the company’s expenditures by 85% and allow it to proceed with the SEC trial.
"These are hard decisions. Kik is one of the largest apps in the US. It has industry leading engagement and is growing again. Over 100 employees and their families will be impacted. People who have poured their hearts and souls into Kik and Kin for over a decade," he added.
Kin launched in 2017 as a high-profile initial coin offering (ICO). TechCrunch reported it raised $100 million from its token sale.
The SEC filed a lawsuit against Kin in June, claiming the ICO was illegal because it was issuing securities illegally, a claim Kik denies.
In a TechCrunch report, the SEC also claimed Kik Messenger would have shut down in 2017 were it not for the ICO.
Livingston responded through a press statement in August, saying, "The SEC tries to paint a picture that the Kin project was an act of desperation rather than the bold move that it was to win the game, and one that KaKao, Line, Telegram, and Facebook have all now followed."
Eileen Lyon, Kik's General Counsel also said, "Since Kin, a currency, is not itself a security, the SEC must show that it was sold in a way that violates the securities laws."
Livingston added in his Medium post that Kik intends to keep pushing ahead.
The remaining team members "will be focused on one goal: getting millions of people to buy Kin to use it."
To do this, their roadmap includes increasing the Kin blockchain's ability "to support a billion consumers making a dozen transactions a day with sub 1 second confirmation times."
They're also working on making a mobile wallet to make it easier to purchase and use Kin within the ecosystem of apps using it, and making sure more developers adopt, use, and succeed within Kin's cryptocurrency ecosystem. – Rappler.com