#parent | #kids | Kik is NOT shutting down after announcing it would shift focus to cryptocurrency

Kik has announced it ‘is here to stay’ just weeks after news flooded the web that it would shut down its messaging service and resurface as ‘Kin’.

The messaging app was facing a lawsuit from the US Government over the way it was selling cryptocurrency to customers – and the only way out was to label Kin a security or fight them in court.

However, Kik noted on Twitter that it will not be pulling the plug and teased users about ‘exciting plans for making the app’.

Kik has announced it ‘is here to stay’ just weeks after news flooded the web that it would shut down its messaging service and resurface as ‘Kin’

The news follows an October 7 tweet from Kik founder, Ted Livingston, who tweeted, ‘Some exciting news: we may have found a home for Kik! We just signed an LOI [letter of intent] with a great company.’ 

‘They want to buy the app, continue growing it for our millions of users, and take the Kin integration to the next level. Not a done deal yet, but could be a great win win. More soon,’ the tweet continued.

The Canada-based app, which is reportedly used by 300 million people, has been troubled by accusations it is a haven for child abusers but this does not appear to be linked to the decision to shut it down.

When Kik Interactive launched its blockchain cryptocurrency, Kin, the SEC alleges it did so to try and claw back money it was losing through running its messaging app.

The messaging app was facing a lawsuit from the US Government over the way it was selling cryptocurrency to customers ¿ and the only way out was to label Kin a security or fight them in court

The messaging app was facing a lawsuit from the US Government over the way it was selling cryptocurrency to customers – and the only way out was to label Kin a security or fight them in court

The government said it was illegal for the company to sell the Kin tokens – it sold a trillion of them for $55 million to buyers in the US – because they didn’t technically exist and the sales weren’t registered with the SEC.

WHAT IS KIK MESSENGER?

Instant messaging app Kik is a service similar to Whatsapp.

It is popular with children primarily for features that allow you to join groups, send emojis, make memes, play games and listen to music.

However, it is possible to find and chat with total strangers, and you can even search for public groups aimed at teenagers wanting to chat.

The app has more than 15 million  monthly users and doesn’t require a telephone number or your real name to sign up.

The app has attracted a barrage of criticism and has been linked to sex offences against children up and down the country.

Security experts have warned parents to monitor their children’s use of Kik, due to its added levels of anonymity.

 

The SEC had argued Kin was a security – such as a bond or a stock – rather than a form of currency and that Kik had acted as if it was issuing shares in the company.

The department’s complaint revolved around Kin recently trading at less than half of what people bought it for.

At the time of writing, at 16.12 on September 24, 2019, one Kin was worth $0.000009 and had fallen almost 32 percent in a day. 

The SEC said in a statement earlier this year: ‘Kik marketed the Kin tokens as an investment opportunity.’

‘Kik allegedly told investors that rising demand would drive up the value of Kin, and that Kik would undertake crucial work to spur that demand.’

It said people buying the tokens were not given enough information about them to make an informed decision on whether to buy them. 

In a blog post in which he announced Kik’s closure, Mr Livingston wrote: ‘After 18 months of working with the SEC the only choice they gave us was to either label Kin a security or fight them in court.

‘Becoming a security would kill the usability of any cryptocurrency and set a dangerous precedent for the industry.

‘So with the SEC working to characterize almost all cryptocurrencies as securities we made the decision to step forward and fight.

However, Kik noted on Twitter that it will not be pulling the plug and teased users about 'exciting plans for making the app'.

 However, Kik noted on Twitter that it will not be pulling the plug and teased users about ‘exciting plans for making the app’.

‘While we are ready to take on the SEC in court, we underestimated the tactics they would employ.

‘How they would take our quotes out of context to manipulate the public to view us as bad actors. How they would pressure exchanges not to list Kin. And how they would draw out a long and expensive process to drain our resources.’

In that post, Livingston said the Kik app would be shut down and the business would be reduced to 19 ‘elite employees’ from more than 100 people.

This was intended to cut the company’s outgoings by 85 percent and make sure it can afford to survive its pending lawsuit. 

The company’s name has been tarnished in recent years by allegations that child porn is shared on its messaging app.

Despite the app's links to child sex abuse cases, the UK's NSPCC children's charity last year ranked Kik among the safest social media sites/apps for children to use, with youngsters less likely to be exposed to content about suicide, violence, bullying or drink or drugs than other sites such as Reddit, YouTube or Facebook

Despite the app’s links to child sex abuse cases, the UK’s NSPCC children’s charity last year ranked Kik among the safest social media sites/apps for children to use, with youngsters less likely to be exposed to content about suicide, violence, bullying or drink or drugs than other sites such as Reddit, YouTube or Facebook

A BBC investigation last year found that Kik, which is particularly popular among teenagers, had been featured in more than 1,100 child sexual abuse cases in five years.

Freedom of Information responses from 29 police forces in the UK revealed that 28 of them had dealt with sexual abuse cases involving the app.

Among them they had 1,147 investigations into child sexual exploitation, grooming or ‘image offences’, presumed to be the sharing of illegal porn.


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