The 300 million-strong messaging app Kik will shut down on October 19, exactly nine years since the first message was sent on its platform, according to messages that have been verified by Kik.
Additionally, the Kik X beta period will stop on September 27. Kik X was an update to the popular messaging app that was going to introduce some new, undisclosed features.
It was first revealed earlier this week that the Kik app was destined to close as a direct result of Kik’s ongoing battle with the SEC, which claims the token sale ICO of its cryptocurrency Kin was an unregistered securities offering. Kik vehemently denies the claims, and has spent $5 million on the fight so far.
Kik is now going all in on Kin, which it hopes will become a decentralized ecosystem in its own right, with the cryptocurrency used across multiple apps and dapps. Currently, it owns a massive amount of Kin but plans to distribute most of it via in-app rewards. It also hopes to move away from its current centralized foundation, towards a decentralized autonomous organization, but those plans are a long way off.
Beating the SEC’s ruling won’t be the last hurdle for Kin. At the end of October, Kik’s rival, Telegram is launching the TON network (and associated Gram currency) to its 300 million members. And with $1.7 billion in the bank from its ICO, uncontested by the SEC, Telegram’s got far deeper pockets than Kin.
On top of that, Facebook is pushing forward with plans to create its own Libra cryptocurrency to use inside Messenger and WhatsApp. It’s an arms race and Kik has fallen at the first hurdle.