Vkontakte Releases A Cryptocurrency, Triggering The Creation Of A Black Market

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Users are exchanging VK Coins for fiat money without VKontakte allowing it

VKontakte, Russia’s alternative to Facebook, announced the launch of their cryptocurrency, dubbed VK Coin. Its primary use will be managing the payments it VKontakte’s ecosystem. Further improvements would allow online store users in VKontakte’s network to be able to use VK Coin as a legitimate currency.

VK coin also comes with a mobile mining game, where over a million active users “mine” VK Coin. The game has many features like “accelerators” and upgrades, which will boost the amount of VK Coin minted. On its first day, the game attracted over 4 million users.

On April 4th VKontakte also launched its “Store,” where users will have the ability to exchange their coins for various merchant discounts and bonuses. For now, there is just one merchant in the store, giving a 5–20% discount. The currency, although in its early stages, has seen its first coin whale, too. A user, wanting to remain anonymous, recently bought over 890 million coins.

VK Coin also created a unique trend in in-house cryptocurrencies. For the mere ten days, the coin has been alive, Russians have developed a full-time black market. People buy and sell VK Coin and exchange them to rubles.

Ten thousand VK Coins are worth around 120–150 rubles, which is around $2,3. Nevertheless, VK Coin expanded outside the VKontakte’s ecosystem.

Vkontakte’s CEO, Ivan Gusev, stated that the “black market” actually shows the success of the project:

“We were surprised to see users creating their exchange, trade VK Coins for fiat and use VK Coins as payment for crossposting and advertising. We are not going to stop the coin exchange, because sending and receiving VK Coins is a form of a contract between two individuals. Teenagers exchange VK Coins between themselves to get something done — lunch, homework, or a ride.”, Gusev said.

VKontakte isn’t the only social network that plans on using cryptocurrencies. Facebook also announced plans of creating a cryptocurrency — a “stablecoin” for payments between users. Telegram, a project by VKontakte’s founder and ex-CEO Pavel Durov, is also developing a project in the blockchain realm. Telegram managed to get on the last ICO train, raising more than $1,7 billion from both institutional and private investors.

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