Kik Messenger shuts down as Kik focuses on embattled cryptocurrency

Kik Interactive has announced it is shutting down its Kik Messenger app in order to focus on its embattled Kin cryptocurrency.

The death of the popular messaging service will likely come as a shock to many of its users, but Kik CEO Ted Livingston paints it as an inevitability. According to his post, Kik Interactive had been losing money for a long time, and shutting down Kik Messenger is only part of what Kik Interactive is doing to stem the bleed of money from its coffers. Along with shutting down the messaging app, Kik Interactive is also reducing itself to an elite 19 person team — a change that will effect over 100 employees.

Why is Kik Interactive making all these changes? Laying off a large number of staff and shutting down its messaging app will allow it to significantly reduce its burn rate — the rate at which it is losing money — dropping it by roughly 85%. But the larger reason behind the major change is to, in Livingston’s own words, “focus our current resources on the few things that matter most.” Most of those few things seem to be Kik Interactive’s cryptocurrency, Kin.

Kin was launched in September 2017, and styles itself as a true cryptocurrency that relies on blockchain, much like Bitcoin. Livingston boasts that Kin currently has over two million monthly active earners, and 600,000 monthly active spenders — numbers that lead Livingston to claim Kin is the most used cryptocurrency in the world by consumer adoption. However, since Kin as most usually available as a reward for using Kik Messenger, it’s unclear how much of this activity is directly related to Kik Messenger. Livingston admits the closure of Kik Messenger is likely to have a big impact on those numbers, he’s adamant the continued growth of the Kin Ecosystem will make up for it.

Most of these changes need to be made because Kin itself is under attack from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The SEC is making moves to classify cryptocurrencies like Kin as a security, which would bring cryptocurrencies under stricter regulation. Kik Interactive plans to fight this decision from the SEC and is preparing itself to face the SEC in court.

But if you’re one of the millions of Kik Messenger users and aren’t interested in the future of cryptocurrency, then you’ll only want to know one thing — how long until Kik Messenger shuts down? Unfortunately, Livingston has not given a date for closure. Digital Trends has reached out to Kik Interactive for comment and will update when we hear back. If you want to delete your Kik account ahead of the shutdown, we have a guide on how to delete your Kik account.

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