Vkontakte, a Russian social media platform and subsidiary of Mail.ru Group, is reportedly working on a cryptocurrency. According to RNS, a Russian news outlet, Vkontakte’s plan involves the creation of cryptocurrency wallets for its 50 million users on the social media platform. The project, if approved, will enable users to store and transfer Vkontakte’s native cryptocurrency.
Vkontakte becomes the second social media giant reported to be planning a native cryptocurrency for their platform. CryptoSlate has reported on a number of steps taken by Facebook which suggest that the company may be coming out with a native cryptocurrency as well.
Details of the Proposed Vkontakte Cryptocurrency
RNS claims to be in possession of a document revealing the corporation’s plan to reward users for their time and activity on the social media platform. Users will be able to reward content creators with the cryptocurrency while liking their posts.
This is similar to models run by platforms such as Brave and Steemit. While Brave browser allows users to donate their earned Basic Attention Tokens (BAT) to their preferred content creators, Steemit pays authors of posts and comments when they receive upvotes from users.
Payments and Transfers Using the Proposed Cryptocurrency
Should the cryptocurrency project be approved, Vkontakte users will also be able to transfer cryptocurrency to other users as well as make payments for goods and services purchased online.
Outside the cryptocurrency industry, there are a few social media applications that allow users to transfer fiat currencies and make instant online payments in a similar manner. For instance, WeChat, the popular Chinese messaging app, allows users to make money transfers using WeChat Pay.
Vkontakte, in collaboration with Gazprombank, also launched VK Pay in June 2018. VK Pay is a payment system integrated into the Vkontakte platform to enable users to transfer funds to each other and make online payments. At the time of its launch; the deputy management board chairman, Dmitry Zauers; mentioned that the VK Pay project was undertaken as a response to “the fast-changing market of financial services and growing needs of users.”
With increasing adoption and development in cryptocurrency and blockchain technology, the creation of a cryptocurrency payment system can be the corporation’s way of staying competitive in the financial services sector and satisfying users interested in using cryptocurrencies.
Potential Impact on Crypto Adoption and Vkontakte Users
The move to create a cryptocurrency reward system on the Vkontakte platform is expected to be welcomed by users. In a time when there are a lot of discussions on the best way to handle user data, a project that will reward users for their content and time is a step in the right direction. This is because the reward system will (hopefully) give users a degree of control over their content and how it is monetized.
There will also be some progress on the adoption front even though a cryptocurrency by Vkontakte will likely be a centralized one. If approved, the Vkontakte cryptocurrency payment system will get the over 50 million active users of the social media giant familiarized with cryptocurrency technology.
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