Will Other ICOs of the Era Face a Similar Fate?
One of 2017's noteworthy ICOs was Kin token, which was backed by the social media messaging app Kik. The token was meant to be a payment currency for the app, which had an established user base. The Kin ICO managed to rake in the equivalent of $100 million USD in a matter of hours.
Like many other ICOs, Kin token devaluated at a pretty fast rate. It slowly fell further down the rankings on CoinMarketCap to a market rank of #401, where it currently stands.
One the largest challenges Kin token faced was U.S. regulators and the Securities and Exchange Commission. Kik/Kin's legal battle with the SEC has been well documented and they have even set up a "Crypto Defense Fund". For better or worse, Kik/Kin have failed epically at their attempt to gain support from the crypto community.
Ted Livingston's Drunken Text - Did It Happen?
In a bizarre turn of events, it has been claimed by CoinDesk that they have received a drunken text by Kik's CEO, Ted Livingston. It has been speculated that Livingston sent the messages while intoxicated to a CoinDesk reporter instead of a Kik board member with a similar name.
In the correspondence, Livingston apparently vented frustration at the situation Kik/Kin is in.
"Will, I know I've been drinking, but this ain't the drink talking, I'm [fed] up with this shit," he wrote.
"We'll talk more in the morning about replacement, but i quit," he said, adding:
"I have my ticket. I'm not going to jail for this."The official Kik/Kin team have refuted these messages, claiming that they are an elaborate hoax.
I am the General Counsel for Kik and this is an official communication on behalf of Kik. Tonight, Coindesk posted an article alleging that Ted Livingston purportedly sent an email intended for William Mougayar to Coindesk by mistake. The email relied upon for this article was /1— Eileen Lyon (@Eyelyon) September 24, 2019
We are dismayed by the relentless negativity demonstrated by some in our community, but this hoax goes well beyond differing views and opinions and is likely libelous. We will take all appropriate action against the perpetrator and others who willfully republish this falsehood.— Eileen Lyon (@Eyelyon) September 24, 2019
Kik Shutting Down?
In a seeming conformation of the Livingston's alleged drunken texts, Kik have officially announced the closing of their app. In the announcement, Kik will shut down all activity, the wide majority of the staff will be fired, and a handful of developers will continue working on Kin. Roughly 100 staff were fired out of which 70 of their Israeli Kin team as per Israeli publication Calcalist.
"Instead of selling some of our Kin into the limited liquidity that exists today, we made the decision to focus our current resources on the few things that matter most. So today we are announcing three things:
1) We will shut down the Kik app
2) We will reduce our headcount to an elite 19 person team
3) We will focus on one thing: converting Kin users into Kin buyers"
Will Kin Hit Zero?
Following these announcements, Kin token's value took a sharp hit. It has lost 30% of its value in the past 24 hours.
It seems that without the Kik app and its large install and user base, the Kin token is essentially useless. Strangely enough, Kik were one of the largest sponsors of the Ethereal Summit Tel Aviv that took place just roughly a week ago.
Seeing that Kik/Kin was Big Tech's first venture into the world of cryptocurrencies, this could serve as a warning to Facebook & Libra. Regulators do not seem particularly fond of cryptocurrencies and especially when big tech is involved.
Written by Jonathan Ganor
Writer & cryptocurrency aficionado