Springing Forward Along the Path to Completion
The migration from the Kin Blockchain to the Solana Blockchain that started Dec. 15th 2020 was necessary to unlock the requisite capacity and performance for Kin to continue to scale. With a move this large, there are complexities. This post unpacks the current progress on the migration as well as next steps.
As noted in Kik’s summary of the migration process, there are two components:
- “On-Demand”: If a Kin account is involved in a transaction that account is automatically triggered to be migrated to the Solana blockchain and is moved to the front of the queue.
- “Offline”: This is a batch process to migrate Kin accounts that have not been involved in a transaction.
The On-Demand Migration Process has been ongoing since the migration first kicked off and will continue until all Kin accounts are migrated to the Solana blockchain. This ensures that any account that is engaged in a transaction is available.
The Offline Migration Process has also been ongoing with batches of accounts being migrated. However, as previously noted, there have been some temporary performance challenges on the Solana blockchain as the network adapts to the influx of Kin accounts.
Migration to Solana
Over 99% of the circulating supply from the Kin blockchain has already been migrated to Solana including active accounts and those holding over $1 of Kin. This means that while inactive and low balance accounts are being continuously migrated over time to reduce load, the vast majority of usable Kin is already on the new blockchain. The Solana team has been working to address temporary performance challenges that came with the large influx of accounts from Kin by shipping mainnet upgrades to adapt and support this scale. As the Solana team tweeted last week, more than 10M total Kin accounts are now on Solana. This process will continue to ramp up as the Solana chain continues to increase their intake of Kin wallets. We expect the next Solana upgrade scheduled for mid-late February will open up capacity for another 20M accounts.
The current resolution speed of Kin transactions on the Solana blockchain is ~2 seconds. As it stands this is a good improvement from the prior latency on the Kin blockchain which was 6-8 seconds per transaction, but not yet close to the sub-second goal we expect to reach over time.
As the Offline migration process continues, we will continue to see performance improvements. Currently, if an account goes through the on-demand migration process, it requires multiple steps for that account to be first initialized before receiving Kin. When a receiving and sending account are both on the Solana blockchain, less operations are required.
In preparation for the migration, during the November 2020 timeframe, the Kik team worked with existing exchanges to get them ready to support SPL Kin soon after migration completion. Each exchange that committed to supporting the process gave guidance that they would be ready to open up deposits and withdrawals within days of the migration.
After the migration kicked off, some exchanges experienced technical challenges as they ramped-up their Solana blockchain integration, resulting in a slower pace of progress for the migration process. Concurrently, there was a delay in the submission of the new Kin SPL Ledger app which gave reason for some exchanges who rely on Ledger for their key management, to slow-down their integration efforts.
On January 6, 2021 the Ledger app was released (in Developer Mode) which was the last blocker on our side for enabling exchanges to go live. Our hope and expectation was that exchanges would open in the days following but that has not been the case. Some exchanges have avoided committing to a specific date. Note that the full production mode of the Ledger app is still under process of review. Although it has been approved by Ledger for inclusion in the developer store, it is undergoing additional review by the Ledger team before it is approved in the public store. At the moment, Kik has deemed Developer Mode to be sufficient, albeit for more advanced users, and will consider reprioritizing working with Ledger to push it through the final approval stage.
Bithumb Global has said they have done the integration work and are ready to open outside of one challenge they are having with their Solana observer node. They have been working closely with the Solana team to get that resolved and have shared that once that is resolved they will be ready to open deposits and withdrawals.
Mercatox has indicated that they have finished the integration work. They have not provided a specific date but indicated they are targeting to open within the week of Jan 25.
CoinTiger has indicated that they have done a majority of the integration work and are waiting on a final technical review before opening back up for deposits and withdrawals.
HitBTC has indicated that they are currently slated to open at the end of February, despite our ongoing communications with their management.
Gate.io was working closely with the Kik team on the integration but has gone quiet over the last three weeks. They do have everything they need to re-open but after multiple follow-ups from Kik and from the Kin Foundation, we do not yet have clarity on their timing. If you are on Gate.io, we encourage you to also contact their support team and inquire, in order to show community demand for an update.
With all of these exchanges, both Kik and the Foundation are doing all they can to move these forward, but much of all this is currently within the exchanges hands. We recommend that any customers of these exchanges file direct inquiries with these exchanges to amplify the community’s frustration with these delays.
Four other exchanges (Lykke, FatBTC, Stellarterm, Coinall) have decided to not support Kin SPL at this time. Affected users with these (or other unnamed) exchanges should contact them directly and ask for assistance in processing withdrawals.
We have already published a Kin SPL status report on January 9th 2021, including a compatibility table.
Currently supported wallets include MyKinWallet, Ledger Nano, Math Wallet, Sollet, Coin98, Solong, Bonfida, and Trust Wallet.
Atomic Wallet is running their final tests and indicated they will be open shortly.
Trust Wallet finished an initial implementation of SPL in their wallet, but it is not compatible with the rest of the Solana based wallets which makes account creation on Trust Wallet challenging for users that don’t already have an account. The Solana team and the Trust Wallet team are working together to resolve this situation.
Tor.us is still working on implementing Kin SPL. We will share an update as the new wallet becomes available.
In an earlier post outlining the migration process there was a reference to a bridge between Ethereum and Solana that would follow a burn / mint process similar to the one that functioned for Ethereum and the (former) Kin blockchain. That means coins are burned on one blockchain in order to be distributed on another, without changing the total supply. The Sollet.io and Coin98 teams are working on a service that would facilitate this. Further details of their rollout will follow as the timelines become concrete. For now, we reiterate our suggestion that ERC-20 holders sit tight and wait a bit longer, and that their Kin is ready to move when this tool becomes available.
In addition to these services, the “wormhole” from Ethereum to Solana was just deployed on mainnet this past week with the key ceremony taking place. The intention for this bridge is to support Kin ERC-20 migrations, but we are unsure of the availability timeline for this. The burn/mint services of Sollet.io and Coin98 will likely roll out first.
Kik has been working with the ecosystem of developers and apps to provide technical support and general assistance as it relates to the Solana migration.
To date, 6 significant apps have completed the migration, and 2 others (Perfect365 and Madlipz) are underway. These apps collectively represent about 1.5 – 2 million Monthly Active Spenders. We are also working with MediaLab to ensure that their integration of Kin in Kik Messenger is back online and stable as soon as possible.
While other apps have yet to migrate, we continue to engage with all Kin App developers to ensure a smooth transition to Solana. We expected some app attrition in the migration process (the majority of which were inconsequential to overall MAS). However, we also expect renewed growth of the ecosystem as we work more closely with both our steadfast app partners and new developers.
The ecosystem has done a good job adapting to the Solana transition but there is still work to be done:
- Continued performance improvements
- More wallets being migrated
- Exchanges coming online
- ERC20 bridge operational
- More SPL wallets (e.g. Tor.us)
This has been a large scale migration, larger than any crypto migration that we are aware of. The patience and enthusiasm from the ecosystem has been a catalyst for positive momentum with Kin. We look forward to continuing the positive momentum on the Solana blockchain and will share further updates as they become available.