Russian Social Media Giant Vkontakte Launches 'Mineable' Virtual Currency

Francisco Memoria

Russian social media giant Vkontakte (VK) has reportedly launched its own virtual currency, dubbed VK Coin. It’s currently unclear whether it’s a blockchain-based cryptocurrency, or merely a digital currency used on its platform.

The launch follows reports that suggested the social media giant founded by Pavel Durov was going to launch its own cryptocurrency, which could be integrated into its own payments system called VK Pay.

According to local news outlet Tass, VK’s new digital currency can be ‘mined’ by the platform’s users via a mobile app game. After earning VK Coins, users can then send them to others or accumulate them. The game has a top winners list based on VK Coin holdings.

The app is reportedly available on both iOS and Android devices. VK Coins can also be used to boost mining speed, and will be usable pay for services within VK itself. A post from the company’s VK Pay service notes external partners may also join in. The post reads (roughly translated)

And this is not empty fun - in the “Store” tab in VK Coin you can soon exchange coins for offers from partners. The first will be available coupons for discounts from 5 to 20% when ordering in the Delivery Club. Who knows, maybe there will be other lucrative promotions?

As of this week, the social media giant’s virtual currency has reportedly been used by over 4 million users, with the richest one having already mined 890 million coins. Some reports suggest users have already started exchanging VK Coins for services on VK.

Vkontakte is notably Russia’s largest social media network, with over 97 million active users per month, and 6.5 billion messages exchanges per day. It was launched as a local competitor to Facebook, a social media giant that is reportedly going to launch its own cryptocurrency.

Some have suggested Mark Zuckerberg’s firm has already reached out to cryptocurrency exchanges to get Facebook’s coin listed on their platforms. The launch of such a coin, according to one Barclays analyst, could bring Facebook over $19 billion in revenue