Messaging service Kik launched a cryptocurrency called Kin through a near-$100 million initial coin offering (ICO) last September, and now its Kin Ecosystem Foundation will give as many as 25 developers up to $3 million in Kin to bolster the cryptocurrency's ecosystem as part of a newly-launched Kin Developer Program.
Kik says that Kin is intended to be a "general purpose cryptocurrency for use in everyday digital services" but for Kik's vision of a vibrant digital economy based on Kin to be realized, it needs developers to build compelling services that rely on the cryptocurrency.
"Up until now, developers haven't had access to a consumer-ready cryptocurrency that can easily be integrated into mainstream apps and platforms," Ted Livingston, Kik's founder and CEO, stated. "The Kin Developer Program offers just that, and it also financially incentivizes developers to create natively with Kin, bringing us closer to our goal of becoming the most used cryptocurrency in the world."
At the center of the Kin Developer Program is the Kin Ecosystem SDK, which allows developers to build applications that integrate with the Kin platform. Specifically, applications built with the SDK allow users to earn and spend Kin in-app. For example, applications can reward users with Kin for performing actions, such as completing a task such as a quiz. Applications can also charge users for access to functionality or digital goods, such as virtual badges in a game.
The Kin Ecosystem SDK issues requests to a Kin Ecosystem Server, which handles tasks such as creating and funding user accounts, retrieving balances, performing earn and spend actions, and managing transaction histories.
To help developers ensure that users of the apps have opportunities to spend and earn Kin, the Kin Ecosystem Foundation has created the Kin Marketplace, an optional UI component that can be launched from within an app. It displays a wall consisting of offers to earn and spend the cryptocurrency. Developers can also add the offers that exist in their app to the Kin Marketplace.
Kin Ecosystem SDKs are available for Android and iOS, and the Kin Ecosystem Foundation has published a developer playbook containing advice for understanding the ecosystem Kin is trying to build along with best practices for application development.
Of course, with so many ecosystems and cryptocurrencies, developers have a plethora of options. So the Kin Ecosystem Foundation is luring developers to build apps around what it calls "the world's most consumer ready cryptocurrency" with an offer it hopes they will find hard to refuse: up to $60,000 and 400 million Kin, plus promotion and expert support.
The Kin Developer Program is accepting applications through August 10. As many as 25 applicants will be accepted into the program on August 15. All will be required to build and launch a consumer app that uses the Kin Ecosystem SDK by October 2. To ensure that developers stay on track, the Kin Ecosystem Foundation will disburse funds and Kin to participants in three phases based on the achievement of goals.
More information is available on the Kin Developer Program website.