Canadian Messaging Service Kik Burns $5 Million Fighting SEC Over Utility Tokens, Now Raising $5 Million More to Continue Battle

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Ted Livingston, the CEO of Canadian-based messaging powerhouse Kik, recently revealed the Ontario-based company spent over $5 million on ongoing negotiations with the United States Securities Exchange Commission (SEC).  As of May 2016, Kik Messenger had approximately 300 million registered users and was used by approximately 40% of United States teenagers. In 2017, they raised $98 million in an initial coin offering (ICO) to support its kin cryptocurrency and ecosystem, but they have been at loggerheads with the SEC ever since. 

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But $5 million has proven not to be enough and Livingston and his team have reached out to the community to help raise another $5 million to fight the SEC. They already raised more than $5 million since announcing last week. 

Livingston, in a recent interview with Coindesk – CEO Ted Livingston and Patrick Gibbs, a partner at law firm Cooley LLP, announced on the UnChained Podcast Tuesday, the campaign is being launched in the hopes that:

“…a lawsuit would eventually result in a new Howey test for crypto tokens, to determine which ones are a security.”

Defend Crypto, a new website has been set up for supporters to contribute to the fundraising effort not just for Kik but also into the future for other companies. 

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About Richard Kastelein

Founder and publisher of industry publication Blockchain News (EST 2015), a partner at ICO services collective Token.Agency ($750m+ and 90+ ICOs and STOs), director of education company Blockchain Partners (Oracle Partner) – Vancouver native Richard Kastelein is an award-winning publisher, innovation executive and entrepreneur. He sits on the advisory boards of some two dozen Blockchain startups and has written over 1500 articles on Blockchain technology and startups at Blockchain News and has also published pioneering articles on ICOs in Harvard Business Review and Venturebeat. Irish Tech News put him in the top 10 Token Architects in Europe.

Kastelein has an Ad Honorem - Honorary Ph.D. and is Chair Professor of Blockchain at China's first Blockchain University in Nanchang at the Jiangxi Ahead Institute of Software and Technology. In 2018 he was invited to and attended University of Oxford's Saïd Business School for Business Automation 4.0 programme.  Over a half a decade experience judging and rewarding some 1000+ innovation projects as an EU expert for the European Commission's SME Instrument programme as a startup assessor and as a startup judge for the UK government's Innovate UK division.

Kastelein has spoken (keynotes & panels) on Blockchain technology in Amsterdam, Antwerp, Barcelona, Beijing, Brussels, Bucharest, Dubai, Eindhoven, Gdansk, Groningen, the Hague, Helsinki, London (5x), Manchester, Minsk, Nairobi, Nanchang, Prague, San Mateo, San Francisco, Santa Clara (2x), Shanghai, Singapore (3x), Tel Aviv, Utrecht, Venice, Visakhapatnam, Zwolle and Zurich.

He is a Canadian (Dutch/Irish/English/Métis) whose writing career has ranged from the Canadian Native Press (Arctic) to the Caribbean & Europe. He's written occasionally for Harvard Business Review, Wired, Venturebeat, The Guardian and Virgin.com, and his work and ideas have been translated into Dutch, Greek, Polish, German and French. A journalist by trade, an entrepreneur and adventurer at heart, Kastelein's professional career has ranged from political publishing to TV technology, boatbuilding to judging startups, skippering yachts to marketing and more as he's travelled for nearly 30 years as a Canadian expatriate living around the world. In his 20s, he sailed around the world on small yachts and wrote a series of travel articles called, 'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Seas' travelling by hitching rides on yachts (1989) in major travel and yachting publications. He currently lives in Groningen, Netherlands where he's raising three teenage daughters with his wife and sailing partner, Wieke Beenen.

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