Solana isn’t paying the Kin Foundation for its fabricated user stats. They’re doing it to schmooze the buttocks of USV Vulture Capitalist, Fred Wilson for Seed funding. (OpEd)
The connection between Solana and Kin Foundation has been known to the public for months now ever since a Solana pitch deck surfaced on the net, including Kin’s so called “user statistics”. Yet they continue to put up a facade that a deal isn’t all but done and that the clueless Kin community has a say on the matter. Originally, many thought that the Kin Foundation would be the one opening up its wallet to pay Solana in order to hop to their 3rd blockchain in 3 years. After all, Solana is the one with the ultra high-speed blockchain and Kin are the ones drowning in an outdated Stellar Fork. Not to mention Kin is no stranger for paying for its partnerships.
In October 2019, u/buiftch of the r/KinFoundationTruth collective on reddit, discovered huge amounts of Kin were secretly being paid out to the prominent developers in the Kin ecosystem. It was later determined that the undisclosed payouts were Payola for developers. You may be thinking, what’s Payola? Payola is when one “Entity A” pays “Entity B” a sum of money, in order to gain access to promote a product or service on to a network or following without publicly disclosing the exchanged cash consideration. It’s common term in the music industry, for when a record label pays a radio station to play a song to gain exposure to its listener base without disclosing that it’s sponsored airtime. In Kin’s case, they pay developers to implement Kin tokens in their apps to gain access to the apps userbase. The Kin Foundation deliberately hid the true nature of these partnership agreements from Kin Investors and had the clueless Kin Community believe that the Kin ecosystem was growing organically from genuine interest.
Kin would take the paid for statistics and parade around how its token is the most used cryptocurrency in the world and how they help developers monetize through a heavily flawed Kin Rewards “Engine”. But the truth is that NONE of prominent apps in the Ecosystem would voluntarily implement Kin without these secret backroom Payola deals. These payouts were unbeknownst to the clueless Kin Community that dated back since the Kin ecosystem first got started and were in clear violation of the Kin Foundation’s transparency commitments found in the original Kin whitepaper. After being heavily questioned about the secret Payola deals, it took 5 months for Kik Interactive employed Kin Foundation Community Manager, Kevin R Ricoy to respond in a lame duck transparency report with Messari that failed to address all of the secret payouts discovered by r/kinfoundationtruth’s u/buitfch. The Payola payouts they attempted to explain were covered up under the guise as “grants” but were never disclosed officially until the release of this report.
What made matters worse, is that the app users that Kin paid investor money to receive access to, are clueless to what Kin tokens are. While Kin Foundation is quick to boast about its “millions of users”, a quick twitter $KIN cashtag or twitter handle search will only show a small amount of Kin Shills that you could count with your fingers that mention it. There is nothing there that will suggest millions of people are using Kin tokens. Furthermore, Many developers don’t offer any legit spending options and some just push “air-transactions” in the background unknowingly to the user. Whether the in-app Kin transactions were authentic or not, developers received income from the Kin Rewards “Engine” in addition to the Secret Backroom Payola deals.
The Kin Rewards “Engine” is a manually operated system that pays developers on a weekly basis based of in-app Kin activity. The more users are earning and spending Kin, the higher the weekly payout. Some of the Developers found clever ways to game the Kin Rewards “Engine”. While some members of the Kin community voiced concerns about the issue, it took months before the Kin Foundation to make any corrective action. In the end, the Kin Foundation got fabricated statistics to market and the Developers collectively made off with 10’s of thousands of dollars for basically doing nothing. The Kin holders however, were left to eat the cost and have their holding values evaporated on a weekly basis.
Kin’s shady practices do not stop with secret Payola payouts and fabricated user statistics. Over the past 3 years they have squandered 100M that was raised during their Initial coin offering. They hired a useless Israeli based blockchain development team and rented shiny new offices to house them in. In return they produced garbage products that were eventually scrapped. For months on end they continued to mislead the clueless Kin Community by promising big Partnerships and Exchange listings while knowing the SEC action was imminent. The SEC offered Kin Founder Ted Livingston a ecosystem crushing settlement in January of 2019, in which he declined to take. Even though an SEC Lawsuit was looming, they continued to give the clueless Kin Community false hope that things were full steam ahead up until around the June 2019, when the SEC made the lawsuit official, causing the Kin token price to free fall nearly 80% of its value at the time.
Later that Fall, Kin Foundation board member, William Mougayar publicly predicted that Kin’s price would 10x before the end of 2019. All the while Kin’s parent company Kik Interactive, was behind the scenes planning to lay off 95% of its employees and liquidate all of its assets, including Kik Messenger, their proprietary chat client that many early Kin investors believed would be a key driver of the token’s adoption. After news broke Kin token price would proceed to plummet 75% of the value at that time and has barely recovered since. To date, Kin token price has lost approximately 95% of its ICO value. Renowned crypto publication, TheBitcoinist.com would go on to induct Kin to the Crypto Hall of Shame.
So with that all that said. Why would Solana want to be associated with a failed ICO with a horrendous reputation that’s currently awaiting a Judge to decide its fate in a heavily publicized SEC lawsuit? Any competent executive team would easily be able to poke holes through Kin Foundation’s heavily rigged user stats… right? Perhaps Kin managed to pay an offer a cash-strapped start-up couldn’t refuse. At the end of the day, if or when Kin get’s disgorged by the SEC, at least Solana would still have made some revenue from the partnership… Right?
Despite everything we explained above, It turned out that it was Solana that agreed to pay the Kin Foundation up to 1% of the total supply of $SOL Tokens. How could a team who is supposed to have some of the brightest minds in the industry, agree to do something so stupid?! Not only that, Solana went out their way to oversell this huge nothing burger as “Big News”, they made sure to solely focus on Kin’s fabricated user statistics and completely avoided to address the pending SEC Lawsuit. Individuals who pointed out that Kin was trash in the Solana Telegram rooms their messages censored and were immediately muted or outright banned without warning.
The highly questionable and ill-advised move to pay the Kin Foundation to migrate blockhains made Solana look weak and desperate. After tons of hype about its unproven technical claims, the only things they have to show is a underwhelming partnership and a garbage blockchain explorer. It made investors began wonder if this was really the best that Solana has to offer. Some would suggest that its a case of birds of a feather flocking together. Solana proved that they could be as shady and dishonest as the Kin Foundation after news broke about the Solana Faux CoinBurn Scandal towards the end of May 2020. Solana CEO Anatoly Yakovenko and team tarnished their reputation by lying to $SOL investors for over a month. To this day, the Solana continues efforts to cover up and deflect responsibility. The Solana and Kin teams proved that they cannot be trusted and any statements from them should be heavily scrutinized and fact checked. Solana’s short history of terrible decisions was enough to get some of their earliest supporters and most experience traders to exit their positions.
About week after the “big news” broke, Yakovenko engaged in a conversation with an aspiring developer. And as he rambled on, it became clear on why he offered to pay the Kin Foundation to migrate to Solana’s blockchain. It it had nothing to do with Kin’s fabricated user statistics. In fact, it had nothing to do with Kin whatsoever, so their shitty reputation was never a concern. The real reason why we think Yakovenko did it was to get the attention of Vulture Capitalist Fred Wilson of Union Square Ventures. USV has a significant investmens tied in the failed Kik Messenger and Kin Tokens. This gives us reason to believe that this is an all out money play for seed investment.
It seems that Yakovenko is not above getting on his knees and performing sloppy-toppy to get what he wants. Even if it cost him 1% of the total supply of $SOL tokens, it could turn out to be a small price to pay for a lucrative seed investment. If Yakovenko somehow does the impossible and manages to successfully turn a turd like Kin into gold, USV will be indebted to him for resurrecting a failed project that was headed in the direction to be written off. Anywho, this is just us trying to read between the lines and giving you a theory that would make this partnership make sense. Who really knows what is going on behind the scenes with the incompetent executive teams at both camps. Chime in and let us know why you think Solana is paying Kin to migrate blockchains in the comment section below!