Kik Interactive, creator of popular chat platform Kik, is launching Kin, a cryptocurrency that will serve as a foundation for a decentralised ecosystem of digital services. Kin will be created as an ERC20 token on the Ethereum blockchain and will be integrated into Kik as the primary transaction currency.

The use of a cryptocurrency token in a mainstream app such as Kik was the big news at the Token Summit in New York City.

Ted Livingston, founder and CEO, said: "Kik believes that Kin can bring together a broad group of participants to create an open ecosystem of digital services that prioritises consumer experience and choice. As a leader in the chat space, we want to bring a fair and sustainable model for digital services to the market and fuel an alternative ecosystem for communications, information, and commerce."

A statement outlined how Kik plans to create a decentralised ecosystem of digital services in four steps:

1. Create the Kin cryptocurrency on Ethereum: Envisioned as a general-purpose cryptocurrency for daily use in our digital lives, Kin will be used for all transactions in the Kin ecosystem. Implemented on the public Ethereum blockchain as an ERC20 token, Kin will serve as the basis of interoperability with other digital services in the Kin Ecosystem.

2. Integrate Kin into Kik: Kin will be adopted as the transaction currency inside of the Kik app. With millions of monthly active users, Kik will drive mainstream consumer adoption of Kin, establishing demand and fundamental value for the cryptocurrency. By natively integrating the Kin wallet into the app, it will instantly become one of the most adopted and used cryptocurrencies in the world.

3. Develop the Kin Rewards Engine, an innovative cryptoeconomic structure intended to promote the use of Kin as a common currency: Through the Kin Rewards Engine, Kin will be introduced into circulation as a daily reward, which will be distributed among stakeholders by an algorithm that reflects each community's contribution to the overall ecosystem. This economic structure will create a natural incentive for owners of other digital services to adopt Kin and become partners in the Kin ecosystem. Over time, the Kin Rewards Engine will be implemented as a fully decentralised system based on smart contract technology.

4. Launch the Kin Foundation, envisioned as a non-profit governance body for the Kin Ecosystem: The Kin Foundation's mandate is to grow an open ecosystem of digital services that consumers can easily explore and find value in, while giving developers an open and sustainable platform to develop, enhance and monetise those services. Over time, the Kin Foundation will oversee the transition of the Kin Ecosystem to a fully decentralised model that operates with no assistance from Kik or any other entity. As a first step toward open governance, Kik will open source all of its client and server code, and will support others in building comprehensive digital services with integrated transaction economies.

"We believe cryptocurrency is the next important business model innovation in tech," said Fred Wilson, partner at Union Square Ventures and Kik board member. "Kik will be the first mainstream application to integrate a cryptocurrency. This could be a watershed moment for the blockchain sector."