Web messaging platform Kik Messenger has concluded initial coin offering (ICO) for Kin, the platform’s new native currency, raising nearly $100M.
More than 10,000 people from 117 countries contributed to this token distribution event. $42M out of total $98.8M was raised in the first 48 hours of a sale that was launched on September 12.
Remaining $50M was raised in late August during a private token presale, conducted with selected accredited firms, including Polychain Capital, Blockchain Capital, and Pantera Capital. The full sale was not restricted to accredited investors, but contributors did have to provide government identification during the pre-registration process.
Despite the amount raised falls short of an initially stated goal to sell 1 trillion Kin tokens for $125 million, CEO of Kik Ted Livingston still considers the sale to be a success:
“We are really excited. If you had told me back in January that we would sell $100 million of a new cryptocurrency in September, I wouldn’t have believed you.”
“We wanted as many people as possible to participate in the Kin token distribution event. Based on the outpouring of support leading up to and during the event, we clearly achieved that goal,” – he added.
Kin is an ERC20 Ethereum-based cryptocurrency created to encourage developer activity and user participation on the Kik chat app and bot store. It will be used as the primary currency on the chat app, serving as a basis for interoperability with other digital services in the Kin Ecosystem. Eventually, the Kin Foundation will “ensure the delicate transitions of the Kin Ecosystem into a fully decentralized and autonomous network,” according to the company’s website.
Given that Kik Messenger has more than 300 million registered users, team begind the project believes that Kin has the potential to become the mainstream if not most widely used cryptocurrency in the world.
Adoption of cryptocurrency makes Kik different from competitors like Facebook Messenger, Telegram, and others, which have started wide incorporation of payment services like PayPal, and debit card payment options, into their chat platforms.
“We envision Kin as the foundation for a decentralized ecosystem of digital services, starting with Kik, and we couldn’t be more thrilled than to build this new future together with you,” – stated Ted Livingston.
Given 15 million audience of this ten-year-old enterprise boasting a valuation of more than $1B, the ICO conducted makes Kik the highest profile ICO company to date. In addition, the fact that this mainstream consumer internet business chose ICO against additional VC financing shows that recent infamous Chinese regulations regarding conducting of ICOs and domestic cryptocurrency trading have not overwhelmed global enthusiasm for token sales.