Kik messenger service closing down, laying off 90 staff CEO says

Kik, the popular online chat tool that began its life in Waterloo, Ont. has announced large staff layoffs as well as an end to its messenger service.

It’s a result of the company’s battle with the U.S. Securities Exchange Commission over its new cryptocurrency Kin.

“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,” CEO Ted Livingston said Tuesday in a blog post.

“While we are ready to take on the SEC in court, we underestimated the tactics they would employ,” he wrote. “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.”

As a result, Livingston said, the company would shut down the app, lay off most of its workforce of more than 100 people, keeping an “elite 19 person team,” and focus on the cryptocurrency customers using Kin.

Livingston says Kin has more than two million monthly earners and more than 500,000 monthly spenders of the currency.

More to come

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