97 million users on Russia’s largest social media platform, VK, will soon have their own native cryptocurrency. The news comes at a time when Facebook has been mulling over similar aspirations for its own platform.
VK is known throughout the world as the “Russian Facebook.” Boasting some 97 million active monthly users, the company is in direct competition with Facebook for social media dominance in the Eurasian region. Looking to beat out its competitors, VK is allegedly trying to get the leg-up by adopting its own native cryptocurrency.
First reported by Russian news outlet RNS, users of VK will soon be able to earn cryptocurrencies on the platform to buy and sell goods. The cryptocurrency can be earned by, for example, liking or sharing interesting posts.
The VK cryptocurrency will also be usable over the VK Pay platform. Currently, VK already has an existing cashless money transfer system which it will integrate with its soon-to-be-released cryptocurrency.
However, RNS reports that the final decision from VK is yet to be expected. If approved, the launch of ‘VK Coin’ could send tidal waves throughout Russia — paving the way for cryptocurrency adoption across its digital economy.
Although VK may be releasing its own cryptocurrency, many legal questions are still unresolved. Russian President Vladimir Putin has expressed skepticism over Bitcoin, but he has also issued a deadline of July 2019 for clear cryptocurrency regulation in the country.
Some lawmakers, however, have said that the country is just not ready for such a shift in its digital economy. According to Elina Sidorenko, the chairwoman of the Russian State Duma, “to say that this idea can be implemented in Russia for at least the next 30 years is unlikely.” However, if VK’s idea is successful, the blockchain space and its adoption in Russia could move much quicker than Russian state legislators can possibly anticipate.
Will VK or Facebook be the first to release its own cryptocurrency? Do you think either platform needs a native digital currency? Let us know your thoughts below!