Russian social media giant Vkontakte (VK) has launched an internal currency, VK Coin, that can be “mined,” local state-owned media outlet Tass reported on April 1.
The move follows recent reports this week that VK was launching a bespoke cryptocurrency. The official information provided on VK Coin, however, does not indicate that the coin is based on blockchain technology. It does, however, encourage users to “mine” the coin via VK’s services.
The service works via a mobile app clicker game that lets users earn the internal currency, send it to other users and compete for a top winners list, based on VK Coin holdings. The service is available for iOS and Android, according to Tass.
Generating 0.001 VK Coins on a default, the game lets users spend the coins to buy boosts that enable faster mining.
According to a post from VK’s internal payment service, VK Pay, VK Coin users will soon be able to exchange their coins for various services and discounts with external partners.
By April 5, VK Coin mining has been used by more than 4 millions users, while the richest user has mined over 890 million coins, VK Pay noted.
According to local media outlet TJ, VK Coin users have started exchanging their coins for fiat money or services, such as posting ads.
VK declined to comment on whether the new coin relates to or is planned to relate to cryptocurrency or blockchain, telling Cointelegraph that the firm does not “comment on rumours.”
On March 31, Cointelegraph reported that VK was considering developing its own cryptocurrency with features much like those of VK Coin.
Meanwhile, rumors that fellow social media giant Facebook is also considering launching its own crypto have been developing since December 2018. In late February, The New York Times reported that Facebook is working on a highly secretive crypto project, planning to develop a stablecoin that would incorporate Facebook’s three fully-owned apps — WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and Instagram.