A personal update from Thomas Coughlin, CEO, to review the progress of Kinesis this year and look ahead to 2021.
To bring 2020 to a close I would like to personally thank everyone for their continued support moving into what will be a very exciting phase in the Kinesis story.
2020 was a very strange year for everybody, a lot has happened across the globe over the last 12 months. Despite major global disruptions resulting in necessary changes in operating structures due to Covid restrictions (both in-house and with many of our partners), the team at Kinesis were able to adapt quickly and continue to deliver on significant milestones during very difficult conditions.
Some of these major achievements include:
- The release of the virtual Kinesis Visa card
- iOS and Android Mobile applications
- The new KM platform interface
- The new Mint and integration into KM platform functions
- Backend development for EU/UK banking and card program
This year, behind the scenes backend development, has constituted about 70% of our development resources, focusing on banking, regulatory requirements, cybersecurity, partner integrations and exchange development.
In addition to the many milestones achieved by the Kinesis team during the last year, we have had multiple partners approach us from a variety of industries, requesting to integrate into the Kinesis System (KMS). Some of these partnerships are already integrating, and some are gearing up for major integration using whitelabelled services as enhancements to their well-established business bases. These partnerships are comprehensive and will drive new development initiatives around simple banking and gold/silver savings programs in 2021.
This is exciting on multiple fronts and most importantly, it translates into immediate user adoption of the Kinesis currencies KAU and KAG. These prospective integrations have the potential to attract significant increases in both users and exchange volumes, which in turn increases yields to Kinesis users. We will be covering these in detail once we come out of embargo and coordinate these announcements inline with our PR strategy.
2021 Initial Priorities
The massive surge in partnership integrations and requests have highlighted the need for scaling up some essential institutional-level performance improvements that must be undertaken so that we can accommodate such rapid growth. Many partnerships which are underway and which will be announced shortly have driven a reprioritization of our Q1 development focus.
We will be releasing a 2021 roadmap in the coming weeks to highlight these changes and development priorities for the year. Before I update you on some key initiatives I know you are eager to hear about, I would like to address the Yield Engine go-live date. The yield engine will be pushed out accordingly, based on the time taken to apply the KMS performance upgrades mentioned above.
Some of you may be unhappy to hear this and believe me, there is nothing more I want than for Kinesis to be at the point where we are paying healthy yields to all of our users; but in determining prioritization, myself and the entire Kinesis executive team unanimously agree that activities resulting in partner integrations, bringing immediate value to the Kinesis user base should always be at the forefront of decision making. I would like to reiterate that yield development has already started and this delay will be short, with all yields being retroactively calculated.
These performance upgrades will result in a better stability and overall experience for all users, both retail and institutional, as well as accommodate integrations resulting in increased user adoption, and attract deeper liquidity from professional institutions.
Beyond this, I am pleased to update the community on other key items such as; Indonesia, cybersecurity, banking integrations and exchange performance enhancements.
Firstly, amid speculation and lack of visibility within Indonesian Government organisations, I would like to reassure everyone Indonesia is alive and well, all projects are moving forwards nicely, considering the events of 2020. All technology UI, UX, bank integrations, exchange integrations, have been completed for both PosGo and NU.
- 2020: PosGO has had a small user test base currently in place and the larger rollout will commence before year-end.
- New President Director of PT POS has initiated a re-branding of the PosGO app, to better reflect its principles and offering, to PosGO Syariah.
- 2021: Significant ramp-up of on-boarding Pos Employees in Q1; Minister of State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) event to commemorate the PosGO initiative is set for the second week of January.
- 2020: NuGold launch is set for 18 December! As an add-on interface and link with the existing app NUCash (40,000+ active users currently).
- 2021: Strong in-house marketing effort for gold savings/investment to commence in Q1.
Hajj & Umroh to Mecca
- 2020: KAU has been adopted by the Hajj & Umroh Travel Agencies Network as the currency on the apps for saving and spending.
- 2021: As international travel re-commences and trips to Mecca return, look to see a good take-up of KAU through this avenue.
- 2020: The technical interface and commercial model is complete
- 2021: Commercialisation of the offering will commence upon re-opening of Malaysia (partners have been identified and are willing). Face to face meetings are set in order to finalise agreements.
Kinesis Emerald (KEM)
The partnership with Seabury Capital and Seabury Asset Management (1+ billion AUM) has been finalized with a portfolio of 22,000 carats of cut/polished emeralds (US$120 million value).
- Early 2021: Emeralds Minted, tokenized into KEM by Seabury and offered on the Kinesis Exchange in early Q1.
- KEM Testnet is live and wallet integrations are complete
Brief Summary of Seabury and the KEM Offering
Seabury owns the emerald assets outright; vaulted and audited at the Kinesis Vault – OZL Liechtenstein. Upon Seabury Minting via EPD into KEM Tokens, and offered for sale on the Kinesis Exchange investors can take a direct title, allocated position in the emeralds and earn a 3% per annum minimum guaranteed return (calculated daily, paid monthly in KAU). On top of the 3% annual return, investors will also earn a KEM Holders Yield and there are no storage fees.
As emerald assets in the form of KEM have title passed to the investor in return for cash, Seabury will invest the proceeds into the various investment vehicles that Seabury and Seabury subsidiaries routinely utilize and offer the guaranteed 3% return to KEM title holders.
The team at Kinesis continues working hard to bring KMS users a fully operational banking integration. Ultimately, we are aiming to bring users individualised bank accounts that are connected to KMS accounts which allow users to receive and make transfers to anyone, and in multiple currencies. This will in essence, along with the debit card solutions, encapsulate a total hybrid banking experience for every Kinesis user. The banking integration is a very large piece and thus will be rolled out in phases, with timeline forecasts to come in following announcements.
We have undertaken some significant steps in order to ensure that Kinesis is not only compliant but proactive in protecting our users. We have restructured our entire blockchain node structure, deployed vulnerability scanning, completed significant milestones in PCI/DSS, which is a huge banking regulatory piece, a significant undertaking that satisfies international standards. Additionally, we recently completed and passed another round of penetration testing which further highlights Kinesis systems are robust and our infrastructure compliant.
On funds security, Kinesis only keeps a small percentage of user funds in the system and holds a significant portion of assets offline, safely secured for the protection of our users. We have the necessary redundancies in place to counter or immediately recover from cyber attacks. We have increased security and will continue to evolve this above and beyond what is required as an acceptable standard with our security partners. We have also been working extensively with insurers to bring online an insured custody solution to be implemented early in the new year, further enhancing user protection.
Communications moving forward
We have formed a communications strategy, which will see quarterly written updates in 2021 and executive webinars around major releases only. This means the community can expect 4 major updates per annum in addition to regular communications and partnership announcements.
Kinesis is continuing to expand globally and there is too much to communicate in writing, which is why we will be recording an update webinar in January to provide more substance as to what's happening globally, present the 2021 roadmap and set the tone for the year ahead.
We are excited for the year ahead, Kinesis has more happening than ever and we look forward to your continued support in the new year.
Wishing you all a safe and prosperous 2021.