Blockchain Growing Pains Show There’s No Ledger to Rule Them All

Messaging app developer Kik Interactive, which raised about $100 million last year to launch services on the Ethereum blockchain, discovered that the ledger technology isn’t ready for prime time.

The company is shifting some of its business onto a different digital ledger, one called Stellar, and also building a custom blockchain using Orbs technology, explaining that no existing system is a perfect fit.

Kik wanted to run its messaging app used by millions of teens entirely on Ethereum, but found it was often congested, with slow transaction confirmation times and high costs. A big part of the problem: CryptoKitties, a blockchain-linked app that lets users breed digital cats but whose skyrocketing popularity has clogged up Ethereum.

“There’s a lot of great innovation happening around cryptocurrency, but there are some inherent limitations to consumer adoption,” Tanner Philp, Kik’s director of corporate development, said in a phone interview. “We launched on Ethereum in September and quickly started to run into these limitations.”

Kik is just the latest blockchain migrant. For instance, Sirin Labs, which issued a token on Ethereum and was initially focused on creating a phone that would use the IOTA digital ledger, in February said it would integrate with Cardano.

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