How can KIN Currency Reach 1 Billion Users?
[Disclaimer: The following opinions and thoughts are mine only. I am not affiliated to Kik Inc. or to Kin Foundation]
I always wanted to invest in crypto but I did not really know how to do it in practice. Crypto seemed to me (and still is) quite complex, not so user-friendly and too technical. I needed a sign, something or someone to give me the first contact to crypto.
This happened two years ago.
In March 2018, a friend of mine introduced me to crypto. He took some time to explain to me the basics of crypto, how to subscribe to an Exchange, how to do the KYC, how to transfer funds to a wallet and he started to tell me more about the different projects and especially about Stellar and Bitcoin. After our discussion, I started to get interested in Stellar too and I liked the idea of instant transfer payments without any third party. I used to travel a lot around the world for leisure or for work and I always found it a pain to order foreign currencies at the banks and to wait for a long time to get the money. On top of that, I found that the administration and exchange fees were usually high but in essence, you did not really have the choice.
So, Stellar would allow instant transactions between two persons, without a third party, with little transaction fees and I was very enthusiastic to invest in a solid crypto project. With time, I started to check other crypto projects as well. I checked BAT project, Ethereum… and KIN. I first heard about KIN when the Kin Foundation was planning to swap the ERC-20-based token for the Stellar-based token. I liked the fact that the goal of KIN was to become (and still is!) the most used crypto currency in the world and to be the number one currency for the digital world. I liked the ambition of the project and the vision clearly explained by Ted Livingston. Also, I was also very sensitive and aware of the negative impact of the GAFA (as we call them in Europe, aka Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple) on innovation and found highly interesting that KIN’s goal was to fight those entities and fight the overwhelming presence of those companies on the internet/digital markets. I am also convinced that those giants have no right in taking over our personal data and selling those data to third parties, making tremendous amount of money on everyone’s backs. Kik’s goals and Ted Livingston’s vision made me join the Kin Community and I started to follow all the news on Reddit as a lurker in the beginning. The more I read about KIN, the more I became active and today, here I am, writing my first article about KIN on Medium.
I started to buy KIN on Stellarterm, selling gradually my XLM for KIN (which was a pretty complex process). At some point, I started to buy more KIN while Pantera Capital started to dump heavily KIN on the market and even more after Kik announced the fight against the SEC. At some point, I went all in on KIN and waited like many others the outcome of the SEC v. Kik case.
Being all in in KIN and hodling it could be irrational for many. It is not a matter of blind faith on a crypto project but to me, it is more a strong belief and confidence in a solid and long-term visionary project and trusting the managing team. Holding KIN is different than holding another cryptocurrency. I have to admit that being ATL was a bit stressy but I was ready to lose it all no matter what because in life, you make decisions and you have to keep following those (easy to say, hard to do I reckon).
I was obviously disappointed by the outcome of the trial and like many of the KIN enthusiasts, I was quite nervous about the potential penalties and their impact on the project before Oct 10. However, I was not concerned at all by the survival of KIN after the trial as I knew that KIN as such would not be harmed by the SEC and eventually, it appeared that that unexpected agreement was amazingly surprising. We “lost but we won” and from that moment, I knew that nothing could prevent the project to thrive anymore. There are of course a lot of uncertainties and still a lot of things to be correctly performed but I am even more thrilled about KIN’s future perspectives. A lot of people start to get more and more interested about KIN. A lot of my friends who start checking crypto now are also asking me about KIN’s perspectives and in the crypto world, KIN’s image tremendously changed. We are officially not a security (like BTC and ETH) and this is really huge! Unlike BTC or ETH, we have the advantage (or the disadvantage for some) to have the 10T KIN supply to reach a maximum number of people around the world and this is unique when you check all other crypto projects.
On September 2019, Ted Livingston posted this article on medium
He basically explained that Kik will fight the SEC and go all in in KIN. The most important part to me was the refining of KIN’s goals and vision.
a. Moving the Kin blockchain forward to support a billion consumers making a dozen transactions a day with sub 1 second confirmation times
b. Accelerating the adoption, growth, and success of all developers in the Kin Ecosystem
c. Building a mobile wallet that makes it easy to buy Kin, exciting to use Kin, and seamless to explore the Kin Ecosystem
The focus of this article is to try to present some thoughts I have on how we can get to 1 billion users using actively KIN and what concrete actions might the Kin Foundation have to take in order to reach this goal. There are a lot of articles explaining very well some other key aspects of the project: KRE, price, demand, reducing the KIN supply, Solana migration etc. so I will not discuss specifically those aspects as others have already covered them very well.
The move to the Solana blockchain will ensure that KIN transactions can be made safely and quickly and without any latency. Some people underestimate that milestone of the project. It is fundamentally critical. From the start, Kik and Kin Foundation were focusing on the product and on the user experience over the tech. The common users who are not tech-savvy really do not care about blockchain, decentralization and the other technical considerations behind KIN. The users just want to use KIN if it has a utility and value for them. The management of the blockchain can be left fully to Solana’s engineers and by doing this, all KIN engineers can focus on other important aspects of the project.
I expect more partners and developers to join the KIN Ecosystem but, in my opinion, this will happen only after the Solana migration and after the Code Wallet deployment (and also, after the addition of major Exchanges). From what I have read, Code Wallet will allow millions of people around the world to buy, sell and store safely their KIN but also to send any amount of KIN from the wallet to any Ecosystem App. There are of course legal considerations that will be specific to many geographical areas and Countries and Code Wallet will need to take those into account carefully.
However, will Code Wallet be enough to ensure the wide adoption of KIN worldwide? I think it will be a solid way to ensure the development of real demand for KIN but would it allow the wide usage of KIN just on its own? Will the users embrace and increase the usage of KIN only thanks to Code Wallet? I am not sure (yet) as I would need to see it in action and to see all its features and functionalities but I am pretty confident, as usual, that Code Wallet will succeed.
I think Kik App needs to play a major role in KIN’s adoption now that the SEC cloud is dissipated. Will MediaLab develop and refine further the Kik Messenger that they acquired, integrating further the use of KIN within the chat or will Kik Interactive create a new chat from scratch (KikX?) with KIN or will Kik Interactive and Medialabs work together to develop further the killer Kik chat App which will contain a lot of features like in WeChat?
From the start, Kik’s goal was to become the WeChat of the West. A main chat App linked to many other Apps and allowing payments and other services in-App. How can we become the WeChat of the West and reach out 1 billion users? This will take some time, resources and proper execution but as a starting point, the future KIN killer App has to benchmark at a minimum all the features from WeChat. You can see further in detail what WeChat is and why it is so huge in China. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WeChat
Now, I would like to share further my thoughts and ideas about how we can reach one billion users worldwide.
1. Quality and Attractiveness of the KIN Ecosystem Apps and Partners.
As a user, I would use KIN if it is worth my time and effort. I would use KIN and take the time to buy KIN and spend it within an App if it is really worth the fun and effort. For this, we would need world-class companies to be convinced to join the KIN Ecosystem. Most of the Apps will need to be heavily customer-oriented and user-friendly. The user has to be their main focus. The quality of the product comes close second but should be as important as the User focus. The more world-class Partners will join the Ecosystem, the more other world-class Partners will join as well. It is the virtuous circle. It will be the role of the Executive Director to push the Business Development and to reach out top quality Partners.
2. Advertising Companies Embracing KIN
Whenever a company wants to do some advertising, it has to pay Google/Facebook for a certain number of user views or clicks(Then, Google/Facebook will send (spam) the ads to the users and that’s it. With KIN, the advertising companies can send directly the money (KIN) to the users and retribute them for the time they spent watching the Ads. This would allow any company to target more easily and efficiently its target public and will decrease the impact and the dominance of Google/Facebook on advertising market. Pushing middle-size and big advertising companies to embrace KIN will be highly beneficial. This would give KIN free advertising, quick and wide exposure around the world and more people will be able to earn KIN on any Ecosystem App. Instead of having Ads pushed to the public, the public will pull the Ads, they will search and look actively for the Ads because they will be retributed in KIN. We had already a positive exposure with Starbucks as a proof-of-concept two years ago or so. Now that the SEC case is over, the Kin foundation business developers could push forward the adoption of KIN by reaching out those advertising companies again and reexplain all the win-win potential of such a partnership.
3. Gaming Apps Using KIN and Others.
As you might know it, I am analyzing the KIN KRE data on a weekly basis. Out of the 81 Ecosystem Apps that I am covering, I made the following breakdown, according to the official Kin site category naming convention. The first category of Apps within the KIN Ecosystem is Communication and Social. Next comes gaming.
Gaming is a major App category and ensures that the youth embrace KIN more quickly. However, I think we still lack a Killer Game App (no offense to existing Apps!) that will make all gamers willing to use frantically KIN (I think that Blockgames is already a good start and is really amazing).
I believe a huge partnership will be needed with a world-class game company who is willing to take the decision to include a cryptocurrency within its games portfolio. I am thinking of games editors such as Square, Enix, Gumi, Nintendo, Sony…
As a gamer myself, I am playing a lot of mobile games when I have some free time. The best games to me are Role-playing games gatchas. Why? Because you are totally free to play the game as a FTP (Free-to-play) or as a PTP (Pay-to-Play). Those games are (very) addictive and the scenarios/stories are interesting enough to keep you entertained for years.
Those RPGs are usually fascinating and their In-App paying modules and inner economy are very sophisticated and interesting. You can learn a lot from those Apps if you are willing to build an App and if you are curious about how those companies try to get money from their user base. If you want to pay for extra features (weapons, time, special characters) you are free to do it, depending on your interest in the game. Those games use diamonds, crystals, gold as in-App currency but actually, when you think of it, the line to integrate real crypto has never been so thin. Would there be a huge difference for a user or gamer to buy directly KIN instead of diamonds, crystals, gold and use them? I don’t think so.
If you have time, have a look at Gatcha games such as Final Fantasy Exvius, Final Fantasy War of the Visions, Brave Frontier…Check also the Communities forums of those games and you will see the enthusiasm and dedication of those people and you could perceive the potential of those games with a crypto (KIN) integration. Those gaming Communities are really strong and are really involved in those games, preparing special online and real life events, meetups, conventions…As I said, I think that we would need one major Gatcha game App with KIN integrated (or online — Wouldn’t it be possible to also integrate KIN in a regular online game?) to really see the massive potential of KIN within the mobile Gaming industry.
Also, have you checked this new Collectible Card Game game based on Stellar? https://twitter.com/LitemintHQ It is fun, easy to use and run on the Stellar blockchain. Please have a look at it and I am sure you would like it.
Gaming is an important part for KIN adoption among the youth but to me, the development of other categories of Apps is also important. Targeting the youth makes strategically sense but there are also other categories of people who, I am sure, will be ready to use KIN for services and experiences that are different than gaming.
4. KIN Used in Other Countries.
In my introduction, I mentioned the Stellar Project. Stellar is interesting as the project aims to allow micro transactions to happen from person to person with minimal fees and to try to bank the unbanked. I strongly believe that KIN could achieve this goal as well and could help people by supporting their daily financial needs but KIN also could be used as a means to educate and give people more opportunities. In the Western world, one dollar is not much. Wha tcan you buy with one dollar? But for developing countries, one dollar could cover a lot of people’s daily needs and millions of people could potentially have access instantly to an additional, easy source of revenue by earning KIN. I would like to see KIN to be widely adopted by developing countries by providing the people easy money transfer services but also by providing them education tools to make their future better. How about an Ecosystem App receiving KIN from the KRE and proposing KIN to a person willing to learn English within the same App? How about KIN Apps helping people by providing them basic education and helping them building for their future life? How about KIN Ecosystem games allowing those people to earn KIN and to turn them easily into their local currency with a QR code/specific ATM device/bank?
I believe KIN’s success worldwide will be achieved exponentially if people living in developing countries will use those Ecosystem Apps. KIN could help people to get a better life. A bit idealistic maybe but what if KIN’s price becomes much more valuable? Wouldn’t this be fantastic?
Also, as KIN aims to become undoubtedly the most used crypto, it could also potentially reach out a broader audience in Muslim countries by getting an Islamic finance certification like Stellar did in the past. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-islamic-finance-cryptocurrencies-idUSKBN1K71RC. Something that the new Executive Director might check and see if this would be worth the effort?
5. Translating the KIN Apps
I believe that the KIN Apps will need to take into account the different languages in the different geographical areas (US/Canada/Commonwealth countries — LATAM — Europe — Russia — China) to be adopted massively. Either all Ecosystem Apps will be in English language and pushed to all different countries but the result would be a much slower global adoption of KIN. Or, all KIN Apps should be properly translated into the most used languages in the world to accelerate and increase KIN adoption on a local level. Not everyone speaks English and this should be taken into consideration. There are already strong KIN communities talking about KIN in various languages on social media (KIN ES community, KIN US community, KIN RU Community) and this also shows the popularity of KIN among the non-English native speakers.
6. KIN Price and Perceived Value
The real and the speculative demands have to gradually increase. Everyone understands this. Not only for pure speculators and the developers but also for regular users. With all the upcoming KIN updates (Solana Migration, Code Wallet, Partners, Exchanges(?), the price of KIN should reflect more its real value. The real demand and speculative demand will hopefully increase and the update of the KIN KRE and its new 3.0 iteration will adjust positively the current KRE algorithm by having an influence on the KIN Supply.
KIN needs to have some minimal value threshold to make people willing to use it. Is the time spent earning/spending KIN within an Ecosystem App worth my time and effort? The ultimate goal would be to reach 100 KIN = 1$ USD as it might help the masses to perceive automatically the value of KIN with something tangible (the dollar/euro) and their time. But would 1000 KIN = 1$ USD be also sufficient for a user to start using KIN more extensively? What would be the optimal equilibrium between the KIN perceived value and time and effort? Time will tell.
Ultimately, the purpose will be to have a user spending KIN within an Ecosystem without having to convert mentally the KIN earned/spent with a Fiat currency. This reminds me of 2001, when the Euro currency first came out. We were all used to convert all Euro transactions with the old national currencies. Nowadays, who is still converting Euros to Belgian Francs or Pesetas when spending Euros?
KIN needs to have some minimal value threshold to make developers willing to include KIN in their Apps to get more value and revenue from the KIN KRE. Price will be the result of all the positive actions that will be made by the Kin Foundation, the Kin Community, the users, the developers. Price is a consequence. You have to understand this if you want to support the project.
7. Financial Services and Partial Paychecks in KIN
KIN is a currency now. Fine. This means that in the future, financial services using KIN as a currency will probably appear. Some Apps might join the Ecosystem proposing to users specific financial services or Exchanges might themselves propose those services to us. How about a tech company paying its employees in KIN in exchange of a percentage of their monthly fiat salary? The company will then buy on the market an amount of KIN equal to the amount of fiat that the employee agreed to have in crypto. This will make a periodic monthly buy of KIN, increasing the real demand of KIN and as a consequence, an increase of the KIN value. There are already such plans in some private companies. Employees can decide to receive a variable salary in stock options as part of their monthly salary. It is working now with stock-options, why not with KIN or another crypto? How about private pension fund companies ? Each month, you could decide to allocate a percentage of your salary to a pension fund in KIN. When you retire, you get all the KIN put on that fund plus the cumulated interests. How about a company providing life insurance services? How about a virtual crypto bank providing regular banking service but only for crypto? How about a fixed interest rate (staking) earned from a KIN holding that you leave untouched on a specific account and get the interests in KIN (or other crypto)?
I am pretty sure these financial services in crypto will be more and more developed in the future and it is already happening. https://www.coindesk.com/company/morgan-creek-digital
8. KIN Meaningful Usage
In order to have KIN adopted worldwide, the KIN Ecosystem needs a greater number of attractive and interesting Apps but those Apps will need to provide regular spends opportunities that are truly useful and needed.
How about buying extra data or extra minutes from your mobile provider with KIN or order services/food with KIN?
How about a retail store (WallMart style) having an App which would allow you to cumulate discounts in KIN when buying specific products or when watching the Ads from a specific brand?
How about having, instead of regular loyalty cards, an App giving you automatically some KIN after you have bought some specific item or services in a store? Of course, that same app will provide the user some targeted spends proposals where he/she will be able to spend the KIN that has been just earned.
The multiplication of cool and meaningful spends opportunities will incentivize the people to spend the earned KIN. The people will be motivated to actually use KIN because it will have a real purpose. Spending KIN in video games is cool and fun but in order to be considered as a real virtual currency, a much broader spectrum of spends should be made available in the future, as KIN is evolving and growing further. It should be made possible for the users to retrieve their KIN from the Ecosystem but the ultimate goal would be to have so many interesting and varied spends opportunities that it would be unnecessary to convert back the KIN into Fiat. It would be more fun and meaningful to spend KIN within an App than retrieving it for Fiat. This would mean that the value that was converted from Fiat to KIN and injected into the Ecosystem will remain in the Ecosystem, making the Ecosystem more valuable on a whole.
9. KIN Development Cradle
The focus of the KIN project is to retribute the developers for their efforts via the KIN KRE.
I believe that any person should have the possibility to develop an App integrating KIN, be it an unexperienced or experienced hard-core developer and succeed. We saw the potential of indie developers who were enthusiastic to build and deploy an App within the KIN Ecosystem. However, it is not always easy for “small” developers to compete with professional companies who developed well-polished Apps and to sustain the cost of running an App. I think the Kin Foundation should allocate a part of their vested KIN to a specific ‘cradle’ fund. That fund would provide some resources to any developer and sustain the administrative/deployment costs of that App from concept to Go Live phase after a review from Kin Foundation. The close follow up of that App by the Kin Foundation will ensure that the App is well-polished and ready for success at Go Live. In return, the App would return back a part of their earnings based on a certain percentage after it is successful. This is exactly what start-ups can do nowadays at the beginning of their activities. They can ask some other angel companies to help them at the early stages of their existence until they are ready to fly (and succeed) alone.
Marketing should be the last thing to develop and it is a difficult exercise. The marketing needs to be constant, through the official channels and social media but needs also to underline clearly each positive accomplishment or deliverable from the project. Triggering a hype and keeping it active is also a way to make KIN more popular and known worldwide. We saw that the latest news flow (“We lost but we won” SEC v. Kik case) made KIN #1 in the top trends crypto on https://coinmarketcap.com/ and we can certainly expect major future updates in the next couple of weeks.
I believe that Ted Livingston and/or the new KIN Executive Director will have to show himself/herself more often in forums, internet interviews, podcasts, conventions and use the current positive momentum and hype around KIN.
KIN is among a few projects that are NOT deemed as a security by the SEC. This is an edge over other competitor projects and we have to take advantage of this and the market needs to made aware about this.
KIN needs to be proposed to some global influencers (actors, singers, sport and internet celebrities) and let them talk about KIN and push KIN to their followers. This would speed up the adoption (and make also a huge hype!) but this needs to be done after all the pieces are in place.
I think each of the points that I raised could be discussed in separate articles. There are so many perspectives linked to KIN and I find it very exciting. KIN’s potential is enormous and there will always be new, fresh ideas appearing from everywhere. The points that I mentioned are just personal thoughts and those might be relevant/not relevant to you. But one thing is clear to me: I do see one billion people worldwide embracing KIN. I believe that that milestone will be reached within the next few years if the execution of the next phases of the project are properly executed. There is still a lot to do. The KIN mass adoption, as the most used crypto in the world will be the result of many external and internal factors but certainly, the times that are coming are very exciting. Time to build!
Thanks for reading this very first medium article.
Polype01, KIN enthusiast