The popular messenger Viber, owned by the Japanese electronic trading giant Rakuten, plans to launch the support and exchange of its cryptocurrency Rakuten Coin in Russia during the year, informs Interfax.
The intentions of launching the Viber-based Rakuten cryptocurrency were known back in February, but they didn’t announce any specific terms. Now, the company has revealed that the cryptocurrency will be up for use via the messenger in 6-12 months.
Rakuten plans to carry out the global launching of its cryptocurrency. I’ve seen the list of the countries, and Russia is included. I believe that in 6-12 months the cryptocurrency will be available in the RF via the Viber wallet, the Head of Viber said during the press-conference.
Viber is a service for exchanging text, voice and video messages. Viber is available in 193 world countries, the number of active users in Russia is 45 million per month (40 mln, according to the 2017 results).
Due to the Viber CEO, Rakuten Coin will appear in the Viber wallet, and the users will be able to exchange it for rubles, dollars and euro. According to his words, Viber is analyzing the Russian legislation at the moment, to understand the specifics of launching the cryptocurrency in the country. He mentioned that they would have to receive a corresponding license from the Central Bank.
The most probable scenario for Russia, says Viber’s top-manager, is that the users will be able to convert cryptocurrency to rubles in the wallet, pay from the electronic wallet, but won’t be able to withdraw cash via the bank.
Rakuten, the shares of which are traded on the Tokyo stock exchange, is the biggest conglomerate of digital commerce in Japan and one of the biggest in the world. It unites many websites from this sphere under its brand. In 2014, Rakuten purchased Viber for $900 mln.
It looks like Viber, unlike Telegram, another messenger that plans on launching its cryptocurrency, is less frightening for the Russian government. As we reported earlier, the government blocked millions of Internet addresses that ostensibly had some connection to the embattled messenger. They explained that the launching of Gram cryptocurrency would create the uncontrolled Telegram-based financial system.