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Kik now lets you tip users with cryptocurrency – but there’s a catch

Kik is accepting ready to roll out its Kin cryptocurrency to its mobile messenger in a big way.

The aggregation has appear a new angled feature, powered by the Kin Blockchain. Starting today, Kik users will be able to send cryptocurrency tips to moderators and admins. For now, the affection will be alone accessible to group chats, but Kik plans to open it up to all users in the near future.

The accession of admin angled incentivizes public group admins to foster agreeable chat adventures on Kik, while giving group participants the befalling to thank admins for advancement these spaces in the app,” Kik head of artefact Laura Newton told Hard Fork.

In fact, some advertent Redditors have already been spotting the angled widget in the wild.

There is a catch though: the cryptocurrency angled affection will only be accessible to select users for the time being. It will also be bound solely to Android (sorry, iPhone owners).

“The antecedent rollout is 1,000 public groups,” a agent told Hard Fork. “A public group has a best accommodation of 50 users so this has a abeyant reach of 50,000.”

While Kik ahead accustomed users to buy appropriate themes using the KIN cryptocurrency, the angled functionality is about the first blockchain-powered feature that facilitates direct exchanges amid users.

“Kik’s affiliation of Kin started with a simple experience, acceptance the team to gauge the user acknowledgment to cryptocurrency, and iterate on these insights,” Kik architect Ted Livingston told Hard Fork. “The accession of this new peer-to-peer acquaintance is a huge step advanced in abstraction Kik into the alarm archetype for new and absolute participants in the Kin Ecosystem.”

How angled absolutely works

Using the angled affection is pretty straightforward. All you need to do is click the Kin-styled icon at the top of your device’s screen, and the app will show you the full list of users you can tip.

Currently, it only works for admins and moderators. Another thing to keep in mind is that the angled affection is only accessible to Android users at the moment. So if an admin happens to use an iOS device, the affection won’t work.

“You can only tip users who have a black admin icon,” a agent told Hard Fork. “Admins with grey icons are iOS users.”

Admins shouldn’t expect to live off tips though. Indeed, Kik has set the daily angled limit to 500 KIN, which amounts to just over 1¢ at the accepted barter rates.

Although Kin launched on Ethereum and raised an ICO as an ERC20 token, it has since migrated to its own blockchain – a custom fork of the Stellar arrangement that comes with a new, native KIN token. All angled affairs will be done in the native token.

Unfortunately, Kin has yet to build mechanisms to allow users to swap the native token for fiat and other cryptocurrencies. The aggregation says it expects the native token will be accessible in a number of exchanges upon launch. There is no clear timeline for this though.

Blockchain purists will be aghast to find out the native Kin Blockchain is not absolutely decentralized yet. The belvedere is active on a Delegated-Proof-of-Stake (DPoS) accord mechanism, agnate to the one activated by EOS.

Needless to say, there are some advantages that come with less decentralization: speed is one. “The Kin Blockchain currently processes 120 affairs per second,” a agent told Hard Fork. By allegory the Bitcoin arrangement can handle about 7 affairs per second, and Ethereum – about 15 to 20.

Unlike other alternatives like Proof-of-Stake and Bitcoin’s Proof-of-Work where anybody can be a validator, affairs in DPoS blockchains are candy by a number of pre-selected validators. This comes with assertive risks of absorption and battle of interest. Unfortunately, Kin couldn’t reveal its acceptance ally yet.

Decentralizing the Kin Blockchain is a major antecedence for us right now, and we are currently in the action of selecting ally to validate affairs and move this effort along,” a agent told Hard Fork. “This group of ally will be called the Kin Federation.”

Kik, Kin, and the rest

For the record, Kik is hardly the first app to accommodate the Kin blockchain.

Earlier this year, Kik offered $3 actor to developers absorbed in architecture for the Kin ecosystem. Unfortunately, one of the called apps was later found to be autumn acute user data – including passwords, emails, usernames, and phone numbers – in plain-text.

Kik later told Hard Fork it is alive hard on ensuring that apps in its Kin developer affairs are safe to use. “We’ll be evaluating the aegis of all apps in the affairs before they submit the new versions with Kin integrations after the demo day,” a agent told Hard Fork at the time.

Still, Kin’s accomplishing into beauty app Perfect365 – which boasts 92 million, mostly female users – charcoal the most cogent accomplishing of its blockchain to date.

Despite the scale of the pilot, Kik was quick to accept it still needs to sort out some hurdles with its Kin blockchain, including making sure that its belvedere is fully decentralized (which is not currently the case) as well as creating opportunities for users to absolutely put its native KIN token to use.

Until then, Kik seems altogether annoyed with active smaller-scale pilots with Kin. Of course, that will need to change one day – or the messaging giant might be forced to amend the account of its cryptocurrency, and the entire blockchain belvedere that powers it.

Published December 6, 2018 — 14:09 UTC

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