Russian social media giant VKontakte is rumored to be developing its own cryptocurrency, according to a new report from Russian local news source RNS. However, according to the same report, the final decision to actually launch the cryptocurrency has not yet been made.
Neither VKontakte itself nor its creator, Pavel Durov, have commented on the firm’s alleged plans. Durov is also the founder of encrypted messaging app Telegram, which is also set to launch its own cryptocurrency by October this year following a record-breaking fundraising round last year.
However, if VKontakte does go ahead with the project, its 100 million-plus users will have access to the new cryptocurrency.
According to a presentation acquired by RNS, each registered user on the site will automatically be given their own cryptocurrency account: “the current configuration of the project involves the creation of individual accounts for the accumulation of cryptocurrency to all users of the social network.”
Users will also have the opportunity to use the cryptocurrency to monetize the content they create and upload to the site. According to RNS, account holders “will be able to share the [cryptocurrency] with the authors of publications. Similarly, this could work with ‘reposts’ and comments.” (Translated quote.)
Coins earned on the platform could then be exchanged between users, exchanged for goods and services, and converted into cash through VK Pay. VK Pay is an electronic money transfer service launched in June of last year.
Social Media Giants Gravitate Toward Crypto; Russian Government has Unclear Intentions
If VKontake launches its own cryptocurrency, it will be one of a growing number of social media platforms to do so. Facebook’s WhatsApp, Telegram, and Kakao have thrown their own hats into the crypto ring over the course of the last year–however, none of their crypto-related products has been successfully released just yet.
Each of these companies has its own reasons for taking their sweet time in launching their products.
Possible hesitation over whether or not VKontakte will launch its own cryptocurrency could be due to the Russian government’s regulatory attitude toward cryptocurrency, which is somewhat unclear. In February, Russian president Vladimir Putin ordered the government to create and enforce cryptocurrency regulations by July 1st of this year.