Article by The Late Mercutio Edited by CryptoClarified
What Is KIN?
Kin is not like any other cryptocurrency. It simultaneously reworks the underlying incentive structure of its predecessors while introducing an attractive new monetization model for digital services and apps. Instead of rewarding the rich and discouraging spending, Kin provides opportunities to both earn and spend their currency, built directly into popular apps and services.
Unlike its closest competitors, Kin will succeed because it will be seamlessly and intuitively integrated into its ecosystem of apps.
Take a cryptocurrency that is attempting to solve a somewhat similar problem of ad revenue — the Basic Attention Token (BAT). I believe that Kin is a more attractive monetization model for both developers and users because BAT takes too much effort for users to implement it. They either have to completely switch browsers, or optionally implement a browser extension in their current one. It requires action on the part of the user, and that is a lot to ask. The success of BAT directly relies on the users to go out of their way to search for it and use it.
And even if users (likely users already involved in crypto) are so compelled to switch browsers or add a browser extension to earn BAT from watching ads… they still need to go into the settings, create a wallet, and fund it. Not only is it annoying, it is also not completely non-technical, no matter how “user-friendly” BAT claims it is.
What mainstream users DON’T want to deal with.
Many people will download a browser and never touch add-ons or extensions, and will never be motivated enough to change anything. En réalité, 40% of Firefox users don’t have add-ons at all. Many people will simply download a browser once and never think about it again. You need to make people want to care enough about ads to not just simply block them and go on living their digital lives. They are banking on creating a user-base around people wanting to activate this attention platform.
It needs to be in your face, at the top of every app it’s implemented in, constantly staring users down. It needs to come baked-in, not as an add-on or extension, and not specific to certain browsers. It needs to be an unavoidable icon that begs for it to be pressed.
Kind of like… this.
Kin Ecosystem SDK Wireframe
Kin’s SDKs are designed to make integration of Kin in mobile apps easy. Imagine having the little “K” icon at the top of every app that Kin is implemented in. Imagine that icon at the top of popular apps like Tumblr, Duolingo, or Soundcloud. This little icon may seem simple, but it is very powerful. Every person that already uses the app that implements it will automatically be exposed to Kin directly.
The icon is a portal to the Kin Marketplace, and will direct users to a host of earn and spend opportunities, and developers can inspire users to create and share content in return for Kin rewards to store in their wallet. Kin becomes unified with the app, not just a part of it, and there’s no activation or optional extension involved. It becomes integral to the app experience, and it taps into already installed user bases.
A New Monetization Model
With the Kin Rewards Engine (KRE), apps don’t have to rely on ad revenue. This undercuts cryptos like BAT completely. Instead of trying to figure out how to make ads work for companies who aren’t Google and Facebook, Kin is opting to completely rebuild the system and cut out advertisements as the main source of revenue, and present an entirely new way for companies to compete and grow.
Apps can still offer Kin in exchange for watching relevant ads and providing feedback, but developers can provide a variety of more tailored and specific activities relevant to their app for users to earn rewards, and encourage transactions from users so the apps can get larger rewards and bonuses from the KRE. In doing so, Kin will also supercede coins like Reddcoin and Steemit by simply being integrated more places and adding additional participation incentives.
Kin takes negative user experiences out of the monetization equation. Nobody likes ads. Not having ads appeals to the developer by making their content more prominent and engaging, and appeals to the user by eliminating nuisances, improving customer retention.
The Proof is in the Points
For two and a half years, Kik ran an experiment with Kik Points, where users were able earn and spend these points within the app. Even with many inherent and intentional limitations, Kik Points reached a transaction volume three times higher than Bitcoin. If Kik Points were a crypto, it would have already been the most-used crypto in the world.
Kik has about 15 million monthly active users. Imagine Kin in an ecosystem of apps, each with millions of monthly active users themselves, all exposed to Kin and transacting with it. Kin will be forced into the laps of hundreds of millions of users. En réalité, the transaction volume will be so high that Ethereum will literally not be able to handle it. Kin is going to be so big that they are required to migrate to another blockchain (Stellar) in order to scale. But even Stellar may not be enough. We’ll see how Stellar scales this year with the Lightning network. If it’s not enough, Kin may need to move encore to an even more scalable platform, such as Orbs, but that could be years down the road.
Kin will be announcing 3-5 large partner apps in Q1-Q2 (they just announced Unity and Blackhawk) that will be integrating Kin. Other community members have speculated on what seem to be some likely options, and if any combination are right, there will be millions of Kin transactions per day across these apps. And this is only the beginning. The open source SDK means that Kin will also be integrated across many small and medium sized apps in time for the launch of the KRE in Q3.
If that doesn’t convince you, you might consider the fact that Tencent, the owner of China’s messaging mammoth, WeChat, and the world’s fifth-largest internet company by revenue, investi $50 million into Kik in 2015 as evidence of their belief that Kik would lead the charge in the western world’s adoption of the WeChat model: where an ecosystem of mobile apps can turn every smartphone into a hub that powers the modern, digital economy.
“We agreed that someone would do in the West what WeChat was doing in China. The only question was who. We both believe it could be Kik.”
-Ted Livingston, CEO of Kik
Currently, Kin is flying under the radar, but don’t get taken by surprise when Kin eclipses other cryptocurrencies. Several big players have already invested into KIN, including hedge fund Pantera Capital among other very big names in the crypto space.
This is one that is a risky play (all small/micro cap tokens moves are exaggerated with any increase/decrease in BTC) But this is one that could do 10X in 2018.
Stay tuned over the next couple days as KIN starts becoming more and more talked about after they speak at Coindesk’s 2018 Consensus.
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