Wilson said at a conference this month that consumers would eventually revolt against the data collection from platforms like Facebook and Google, opting to pay small amounts of cryptocurrencies for a more private internet experience.
"Historically, you build a community and use it to then sell their attention to advertisers, or use it to sell them stuff, that they either don't want or don't need," Livingston said. "So now with the cryptocurrency it unlocks a fundamentally new way to monetize a community."
Canada-based Kik's cryptocurrency, Kin, will be based on a different type of technology, ethereum blockchain. Canada is one of the top 10 areas most interested in ethereum over the past 12 months, Google Trends data show.
In its announcement, Kik also called out the omnipresence of giant tech companies.
"More and more ... services are controlled by a diminishing number of companies, resulting in a future of less innovation and less choice. Decentralization provides a sustainable way forward," the company said.
Only about 5.8 percent of U.S. internet users use Kik, according to a May 2016 usage study by AYTM Market Research, compared with 38.9 percent of respondents who use Facebook Messenger.
But Livingston said Kik still has millions of users. He added that the tactic could create new ways for Kik to compete with the massive scale of Facebook's free products.
"You live in this world where consumers expect everything for free," Livingston said. "So this is also a new way to build a new ecosystem, where we can use this cryptocurrency and create a rewards engine to pull in other developers to build great services for consumers."