Kik Interactive closes app, cuts staff as it digs in for fight with U.S. SEC

Kik Interactive closes app, cuts staff as it digs in for fight with U.S. SEC
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WATERLOO, Ont. — Kik Interactive Inc. says it will shut down its Kik messaging app and cut most of its staff as it digs in for a fight with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

The Kitchener, Ont.-based company says more than 100 employees will be laid off, leaving a team of 19 in place as it focuses its resources on defending its Kin cryptocurrency which is under scrutiny by the regulator.

Ted Livingston, founder and CEO of Kik and Kin, says these were hard decisions but the team is all-in pushing for growth of its Kin crypto ecosystem.

He says the SEC wants to label Kin, along with most other cryptocurrencies, as a security, which would limit its potential to be a freely traded digital currency.

In June, the U.S. SEC sued Kik Interactive for conducting an “illegal” US$100 million securities offering of digital tokens because it hadn’t gone through the proper procedures for a securities sale.

Livingston says the remaining team at Kik will focus on the singular goal of getting more people to buy and use the Kin cryptocurrency, making for a bigger fight against the regulator.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 24, 2019.

The Canadian Press

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