Kik is shutting down and the CEO has been drunkenly texting about it
In the world of tech, apps spring up, hit the headlines, and fade into the background almost as fast as they appeared. From Peach to Vero and FaceApp, it happens all the time.
Kik appeared to be one of these apps, particularly in the UK. After launching in 2009, it quickly rose to the tops of the App Stores and then slowly veered off but it's remained popular in the US, with around 300 million users, most of which are teenagers.
Kik's life as a messaging app is now over as the company appears to be moving more into the cryptocurrency space. About two years ago, it launched a cryptocurrency named Kin and raised nearly $100 million in an ICO (sort of like crowdfunding but for crypto). Thanks to this, the coin is one of the most used cryptocurrencies in the world with 600,000 monthly active spenders of the coin.
Speaking about the Kin project, Kik's CEO Ted Livingston took to Medium to say: "Two years ago we set out to build a new economy that offered equal opportunity to billions of people. Today millions of consumers and hundreds of developers have come together to build this better future with Kin."
However, following the launch of the cryptocurrency, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has sued the company accusing it of illegally selling Kin tokens by failing to register the sale, which is one of the reasons Livingston is shutting down on Kik to focus on Kin. The company is understood to be defending the SEC's claim. It is going to downsize to only 19 people from over 100, despite advertising new roles on its Facebook page only last week, with a vision to develop Kin further.
There could be some other news coming out from Kik yet. Late last night, it appears Livingston sent a drunken message to what is thought to be one of the company's board members, William Mougayar, saying he is going to leave the company.
According to , Livingston wrote: "Will, I know I've been drinking, but this ain't the drink talking, I'm [fed] up with this s***.
"We'll talk more in the morning about replacement, but I quit.
"I have my ticket. I'm not going to jail for this."
It appears Livingston accidentally sent the messages to one of the website's reporters, also named Will. When asked to clarify his comments, Livingstone replied "no comment."
In the Medium post, he added: "But no matter what happens to Kik, Kin is here to stay. Kin operates on an open, decentralized infrastructure run by a dozen independent companies. Kin is a currency used by millions of people in dozens of independent apps. So while the SEC might be able to push us around, taking on the broader Kin Ecosystem will be a much bigger fight. And the Ecosystem is close to adding a lot more firepower."
Whilst you may not have heard of, or used Kik, before today, it looks like there is going to be a lot more coming out of this space.
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