Kicking Back: Kik Responds to US SEC Complaint Against their ICO

Denies Allegations, Citing Repeated Instances Of SEC Twisting Facts. Pushes For Early Trial to Accelerate Needed Regulatory Clarity.

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Canadian instant messaging company Kik Interactive filed its response in US District Court for the Southern District of New York to the SEC’s Complaint denying the alleged violations of the U.S. Securities Act for failing to register its 2017 distribution of its Kin tokens.

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Eileen Lyon, Kik’s General Counsel commented:

“Since Kin, a currency is not itself a security, the SEC must show that it was sold in a way that violates the securities laws. The SEC had access to over 50,000 documents and took testimony from nearly 20 witnesses prior to filing its Complaint, yet is unable to make the case that Kik’s token sale violated the securities laws without bending the facts to distort the record. Our Answer shows how the Commission repeatedly attempts to distract from the core issues by levelling irrelevant factual allegations solely to make Kik look bad, distorting the facts or simply making things up. Accordingly, we have taken the unusual step of explaining in our comprehensive Answer why the SEC’s multitude of misrepresentations are incorrect. I encourage everyone who was dismayed by the SEC’s allegations against Kik to read the full Answer and see for themselves how the SEC repeatedly singled-out statements from a body of thousands entirely out of context to drive their false narrative.”

Kik’s CEO, Ted Livingston stated:

 “Our Answer demonstrates how the Commission has repeatedly twisted the facts to make its case, which it would not have done if it had strong evidence. The SEC’s reference to a “hail Mary pass” ignores that a Kik director said exactly the opposite: ‘I think this is a great idea. People call [a cryptocurrency] a hail Mary, but to me, that is a longshot and I really do not think it is a longshot.’ The SEC tries to paint a picture that the Kin project was an act of desperation rather than the bold move that it was to win the game, and one that KaKao, Line, Telegram, and Facebook have all now followed.”

The Answer is a 130-page document that shows the Commission’s repeated twisting of the facts throughout its Complaint and provides evidence of a dramatically different picture of the facts and circumstances surrounding Kik’s sale of Kin in 2017, which they say make it clear that Kik did not violate federal securities laws.

Livingston added:

“Despite the distractions caused by the SEC’s Complaint, we are gratified that the Kin ecosystem continues to grow and thrive, and that Kin is touching millions of people across more than 60 applications, in a variety of valuable earn/spend use cases by over 500,000 people per month. Importantly for developers, it is clear from the SEC’s lack of action against the Kin Foundation that the transactions currently taking place within the Kin Ecosystem do not fall under the federal securities laws. We’ve asked for an early trial date and dismissal of the complaint so that we can put this case behind us and get the needed regulatory clarity the industry needs.”

The full Answer is publicly available at https://www.scribd.com/document/420996750/2019-08-06-Answer-dckt-22-0.

Kik Interactive Inc. connects the world through chat. The company is the maker of Kik, a chat platform popular where people can chat with friends and connect with chat-based services. Founded in 2009, Kik Interactive Inc. is headquartered in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, and has offices in Tel Aviv and San Francisco. For more information, please visit https://www.kik.com.

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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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