As part of the launch, the first 96,000 downloads will be awarded with a few bucks to spend.
The KnC Bitcoin Wallet app is available on the Google Play Store and it's free. Needless to say, there's no app for iOS or Windows Phone. The wallets are pre-funded and it appears that the first 1,000 downloads will be awarded with $5 each, while the next 95,000 wallets will get $1 each (at the current BTC/USD exchange rate).
Bitcoin wallets for the masses
In order to appeal to a wider audience, KnC has teamed up with the Chicago Sun-Times, which is supporting the launch with ads and sponsored content in the form of a "Bitcoin for Beginners" guide.
KnC co-founder Sam Cole said the move was part of the company’s effort to educate a wider audience about the possibilities of Bitcoin:
“KnC wants to share information about this evolving technology with the public. Most people don’t understand what exactly Bitcoin is or how they could benefit fromusing KnC Wallet in their daily life. We’re trying to change that.”
Wrapports Chief Technology Officer Josh Metnick said the Chicago Sun-Times was an obvious choice, as the paper already embraced bitcoin. Wrapports publishes the Chicago Sun-Times, the Chicago Reader and several dozen smaller publications in northern Illinois and Indiana.
“As a media company in today’s environment, it’s crucial for us to stay engaged with new forms of commerce like Bitcoin. Our initial Bitwall experiment proved successful, and we are going to keep pushing the boundaries across all types of technologies,” Metnick said.
The big hope is to equip 100,000 Chicagoans with an active bitcoin wallet, Metnick told us.
According to the Google Play page, the wallet is currently in version 0.9.1 and it has been installed just under 500 times.
The company's wallet can send and receive bitcoins using phone contacts and it has an integrated QR scanner to dynamically convert BTC to local currency. However, KnC admits a couple of limitations – for example its NFC payments are still not working.
The app supports all Android versions back to 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, so it should work on the vast majority of devices launched over the last two to three years.
The first version of the app was uploaded on 21st February to a mediocre response. The average review score is 3.7 and some users are reporting several issues. However, KnC has acknowledged these negative comments and promises to iron out any kinks soon.