“Kin needs to be scaled now.”
That’s how Netanel Lev, vice president of research and development at the Kin Ecosystem Foundation, explained Kik Messenger’s decision to fork stellar and develop a proprietary blockchain for its cryptocurrency.
The decision to fork stellar, announced on Tuesday, is the culmination of a months-long struggle on the part of kin’s developers to find a platform that can reliably scale to accommodate Kik’s several million active users.
“Most crypto projects to date have been technology-driven first and product-driven second. Kin has always been the opposite,” said Ted Livingston, founder and CEO of Kin and Kik, in a statement. “After working heads down alongside the best minds in the industry we came to the conclusion that a hybrid solution of Ethereum and our own fork of Stellar would benefit the Kin Ecosystem both short and long-term.
Originally, Kik had planned to structure kin as an ERC-20 token, but developers were disappointed with Ethereum’s scalability and transaction speed. A frustrated Livingston compared Ethereum to “dial-up” internet during a live stream and announced that the token would transition to the stellar network.
Later, developers announced a hybrid design in which the token would run in parallel on the stellar and ethereum networks, allowing users to benefit from the speed of stellar and the liquidity of ethereum.
However, Lev told CCN that, at present, stellar suffers from “business scale” issues, in part because the Kin Foundation has specific goals for its platform that do not entirely mesh with the goals of the Stellar Foundation.
Under the new plan, kin will still feature bidirectional blockchain support, though consumer-facing applications will utilize the proprietary kin network instead of stellar. Ultimately, the developers hope to eliminate transaction fees on the kin network, erasing a pain point for users seeking to use the platform for microtransactions.
Since the kin blockchain will use stellar as a foundation, the two development teams intend to continue their partnership, which the former believes will benefit both projects over the long-term.
“Our goal is for Kin to be the most used cryptocurrency in the world,” Livingston concluded, “and this will help get us there sooner.”
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