Russian Social Media Giant Vkontakte Reportedly Eyeing Cryptocurrency Launch

Russian social media giant Vkontakte (VK) is reportedly looking to issue its own cryptocurrency, although a final decision on whether to do it still hasn’t been made. This, nearly a year after launching its own payments system called VK Pay.

According to local news outlet RNS, VK is looking to issue its own cryptocurrency and adapt its platform for blockchain-based payments in a move that could allow users to earn crypto through the website.

The local news outlet cites a source familiar with the matter, and claims its editors got their hands on a presentation showing users could earn crypto for merely spending time on the social network. The funds, it says, could then be accumulated, transferred, or converted for payments. The report adds:

Users will also be able to receive cryptocurrency for interesting publications on the social network: users, along with “likes”, will be able to share currency with the authors of publications, similarly, this could work with “reposts” and comments.

Notably, Vkontakte is Russia’s largest social media network, with over 97 million active users per month, and 6.5 billion messages exchanged per day. It was founded by Pavel Durov as a local competitor to Facebook.

Notably Facebook itself is reportedly going to launch its own cryptocurrency in the near future, and some have suggested it has even been reaching out to cryptocurrency exchanges to get it listed on their platforms. The move, according to one Barclays analyst, could bring the social media giant $19 billion.

Due to problems with the Russian government, Durov has since left VK and created the popular privacy-centric messaging app Telegram, which has raised funds through an initial coin offering (ICO). The fundraiser has been seen as a threat to national security by Iran.

It’s worth pointing out that Telegram raised well over $1 billion through a private ICO. Although it planned to bring the fundraiser to the public, it canceled plans to do so in May of last year.