Two Russian-based social networking platforms have announced they are now accepting cryptocurrency payments. Vkontakte, the most popular social media among Russian-speaking users, and Odnoklassniki, which has many subscribers in former Soviet states, will take bitcoin from advertisers. They also intend to start paying developers and partners in cryptocurrency.
BTC and BCH Payments to Be Processed by Bitpay
Both Bitcoin (BTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) will be accepted by a platform that the two social networks work with, Mytarget. Cryptocurrency transactions will go through the My.com subsidiary of Mail.ru Group and will be processed by the U.S. based payment service provider Bitpay. For now, developers of applications and associated platforms will continue to receive their payments in fiat currency, but plans are in place to offer them the crypto option in the near future.
Vkontakte (Incontact) is the most popular social media in the Russian Federation and among Russian speakers around the world. It currently ranks 18th in Alexa's top 500 sites on the web. It is also among the most visited social networking sites in Belarus, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Estonia, Latvia and Ukraine (before it was banned by Kiev last year). The platform has more than 470 million accounts and reported ?14 billion rubles of revenue in 2017 (~$250 million).
The social network was founded by Russian entrepreneur Pavel Durov back in 2006 and has since overtaken Odnoklassniki as Russia's leading social media platform. Odnoklassniki (Classmates) is still popular in Russia and some other countries in the post-Soviet-space, like Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan. Durov, who was dismissed as CEO of Vkontakte in 2014, is also founder of the Telegram messaging service, which supports encrypted messages and encryption for voice calls.
"Advertising through the Mytarget platform and its network can be paid for in Bitcoin (BTC) or Bitcoin Cash (BCH). In the near future, owners of participating sites and applications will also be able to receive income in cryptocurrency", Mail.ru Group announced. The Russian internet company, which owns Vkontakte and Odnoklassniki, also controls the email service Mail.ru, a smaller social network called Moi Mir, the open source GPS application Maps.me and the instant messaging client ICQ.