Canadian Messaging Platform Kik Starts Its ICO, Aims to Raise $125 Million

| Updated
by Eugenia Kovaliova · 4 min read
Canadian Messaging Platform Kik Starts Its ICO, Aims to Raise $125 Million
Photo: dr_zoidberg / Flickr

The beginning of Kin token distribution event (TDE) launched by the Canadian social media giant Kik Interactive, was announced yesterday on September 12. Having already raised $50 million in a presale round, Kik aims to raise $125 million in total through the ICO (initial coin offering).

The official start of Kin token sale was announced yesterday on September 12. The registered users had 24 hours to purchase a maximum of 15.20 ETH ($4,393) of Kin tokens. For now there are under 10,000 users from 117 countries taking part in the token sale, although more than 17,000 users from 139 countries were registered on Kik’s ICO platform despite any restrictions.

The unsold tokens are to be sold today on September 13 in a subsequent sale for registered participants who would like to buy more. According to the company’s press release, Kik aims to raise $75 million through the ongoing ICO in order to reach the awaited amount of $125 million.

Prior to the ICO launch, Kik actually faced some issues. 40 minutes prior to the official beginning of Kin token sale, an alleged URL was distributed on social media announcing the fake start of the ICO. Within that 40 minutes the alleged address had acquired 70.9 ether ($21,656.82) and some substantial donations with payments of up to 5 ether ($1,527.20).

And that is not the first occasion of scams in investment schemes. A month earlier, ICO scammers managed to steal $500,000 in ether from Enigma blockchain project’s supporters. Further, some issues with Kik’s code were reported after an audit was published by smart contracts security firm Zeppelin Solutions.

That signifies that ICOs are still relatively untested, but they are expected to benefit from a longer development period of time as a unique combination of experimental fundraising technology.

Up to $1.7 billion has been raised from ICOs this year, mostly from companies and projects with blockchain technology basement powering crypto coins like Ethereum and Bitcoin. The biggest part of ICOs were launched to support progressive startups that were expected to be developed using the income. Mostly centered around fairly young companies, ICOs have barely touched mainstream tech companies yet.

Canadian Kik International, unlike typical companies to launch ICOs, is far more mature, as it has been established in 2009, already has mainstream traction via its messaging app with 15 million monthly users and has already raised more than $170 million from investors that include Chinese internet giant Tencent.

Moreover, the company is valued at more than $1 billion. So, the ongoing ICO is a kind of experiment to demonstrate, whether cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology can be implemented within an existing, mainstream consumer internet business.

Despite high popularity of ICOs, the authorities of many countries continue struggling against fundraising technologies. Although Kin token sale is open to the US, the participants from Washington and New York have been excluded due to local regulation concerns. Canada, the country of Kik’s foundation, is also off the list.

As Kik’s CEO Ted Livingston commented:

“Despite setting up Kin to have one of the most fair TDEs [token sale] to date, and despite our best efforts to work with the OSC [Ontario Securities Commission], they have failed to give us clear direction on when Canadian securities law will or, more importantly, will not apply. Our Kin project needs to move forward, so to avoid risks arising from this uncertainty, we, a Canadian company, have decided to move forward without Canada.”

The biggest opponent of fundraising technologies is China, which has recently banned ICOs and presumably intends to ban cryptocurrency trading on domestic exchanges.

However, some experts believe that everything may change after the elections there. As Paragon Coin’s CEO Jessica VerSteeg predicted:

“Regulations in Asia have always had a serious impact on the market volatility, however we’re expecting things to normalize after the elections in China. In any case, we do believe that each ICO should be reviewed on a case by case study.”

Some countries have are trying to compromise and allow carefully regulated ICOs. For example, Swiss-based Crypto Valley Association plans to establish ICO Code of Conduct that will be a guideline for careful and safety ICO process and its regulation.

Blockchain News, Editor's Choice, News, Token Sales
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