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.

Cardano (ADA) on Fire: Surges Above $0.10 to Get Into Top 6, Up 206% in 2020

At 16:00 UTC on Friday (July 3), shortly after IOHK, the company developing the Cardano (ADA) protocol, announced a custody agreement with Coinbase, the price of the ADA token went over $0.10 for the first time since October 2018, thereby making ADA the sixth most valuable cryptoasset by market cap.

Yesterday, on day two of the two-day "Cardano Virtual Summit: Shelley Edition", IOHK Co-Founder and CEO Charles Hoskinson announced that from Q4 of this year, Cardano blockchain users would be able to store their ADA holdings at Coinbase Custody "without losing the ability to delegate their stake."

On Tuesday (June 30), IOHK announced that the Shelley codebase had been released to Cardano’s mainnet (but note that the actual hard fork is not expected until around July 29):

Hoskinson had this to say about his company's agreement with Coinbase Custody, which "operates as a standalone, independently-capitalized business to Coinbase, Inc.":

"With Cardano, we believe we can create a revolutionary solution which will be able to offer access to finance and investment to swathes of the population who have previously been shut out of the system.

"This custody agreement allows us to offer the same secure storage solutions that can be found in traditional finance to ada holders, without sacrificing what makes Proof of Stake blockchains special - being able to participate in the network.

"We look forward to this partnership with Coinbase, and to continuing to bring cryptocurrencies closer and closer to mainstream adoption."

As for Sam McIngvale, Head of Product at Coinbase Custody, he said:

"We have been following the success of the Cardano incentivized testnet, with over a thousand registered stakepools during the testing period.

"We are pleased to have been selected as the custodian and we’re proud to be a full-service, regulated, comprehensively-insured, and 100% offline staking provider in crypto.

"The ability to successfully operate within a regulatory framework is essential for the long-term survival of cryptocurrencies.

"We are overseen by the same regulators, and held to similar capital requirements and audit requirements as a traditional financial custodian, which removes many of the perceived barriers to global acceptance of crypto."

IOHK's announcement was made just before 14:00 UTC on Friday (July 3). By 16:00 UTC, the ADA price had broken through the $0.10 resistance level for the first time since October 2018.

Currently (as of 07:34 UTC on July 4), Cardano's token is trading at $0.1003 (up 6.94% in the past 24-hour period), which makes it the sixth most valuable cryptoasset by market cap:

24 Hour CC Chart for ADA-USD on 4 July 2020.png

So far in 2020, Cardano's ADA has gone up over 206% vs. the dollar.