In a live Q&A session on December 13, Kik co-founder and CEO, Ted Livingston announced the social messaging platform’s plans of shifting the Kin token from Ethereum to the Stellar network by Q2 of 2018.
Kik was one of the first established companies to conduct an initial coin offering (ICO) on the Ethereum blockchain, with their “Kin” ERC-20 token and raised nearly $100 million from more than 10,000 users around the world – although they fell short of their initially stated goal of $125 million.
Livingston described the current state of Ethereum-based tokens as the “dial-up era of blockchains” and said his foundation is looking towards “more scalable blockchains” such as Stellar and cited the lack of high transaction throughput and reliability issues with Ethereum as reasons for the move.
The co-founder went on to say that Kik is already at the limits of what the Ethereum blockchain can handle at around 10,000 users, and described the Ethereum network as “general-purpose and slow” while claiming that Stellar is custom-built for an application like Kik.
“To be honest, I call it the dial-up era of blockchains, you know, it’s like dial-up…and as we’ve been using Ethereum and sort of trying to shoehorn it into Kik, it’s been super complicated…we have to like add all these fees automatically on the user’s behalf, because they’re not going to understand that they have Kin, but they also need Ether to pay the gas to get the transactions to run. ”
Livingston said the Kin Foundation intends to verify Stellar’s claims on the speed and scalability of its blockchain over the next two to three weeks and assuming that testing goes well, they hope to move to Stellar by Q2 of next year.
On December 17, the Kin foundation further expanded on their plans for the future of their token in a Reddit post on the Kin subreddit, and hinted that the shift to Stellar might only be an interim solution to the problem of scaling, with further changes in the underlying blockchain technology becoming necessary in the future, as the platform scales to an increasingly larger user base.
“Stellar promises to solve these aforementioned scaling issues which currently exist on Ethereum… following our initial evaluation of this technology, it might just answer the needs we have right now. This does not mean this will be our long-term blockchain technology for years to come…
In any case, this is part of a long process to find a blockchain technology that can support our expected scale. We are still in the phase of heavily testing and evaluating Stellar. We will make sure it can scale on hundreds of thousands of our expected transaction count per day.”
Despite the statement by the foundation, the shift to Stellar has caused considerable friction among investors in the project, with some arguing that Kin was initially announced in the original whitepaper as an ERC-20 token on the Ethereum network, not Stellar – and that planned Ethereum scaling solutions such as Casper are the answer to the project’s scaling woes and not a centralized blockchain in the form of Stellar.