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Viber mulls launching cryptocurrency in Russia next year

July 03, 17:25 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Company’s specialists are currently studying Russian laws in the cryptocurrency sphere

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© EPA/RITCHIE B. TONGO

MOSCOW, July 3. /TASS/. Japan’s Rakuten, the parent company of Viber messenger, is studying Russian laws in the cryptocurrency sphere and intends to launch its messenger-based cryptocurrency in Russia in 2019, Chief Executive Officer of Viber Djamel Agaoua told reporters on Tuesday.

Rakuten announced its plans to launch Rakuten Coin cryptocurrency based on the existing loyalty program in February 2018.

"Our mother company is creating Rakuten Coin: cryptocurrency, which is supported by the entire Rakuten ecosystem," Agaoua said. The cryptocurrency can be launched in Russia in 2019, he noted.

"This Rakuten Coin will be tradeable in Viber," the top manager said. The cryptocurrency will appear in the Viber wallet and it can be exchanges for rubles, dollars and euros, he noted. Company’s specialists are currently studying Russian laws in the cryptocurrency sphere, Agaoua said.

"Very soon you'll be able to send some Rakuten Coins and to trade Rakuten Coins against rubles, dollars and euros," the top manager said. The cryptocurrency exchange for rubles and transfers to bank accounts will depend on Russian laws, he said.

Viber also plans to launch its e-commerce platform in Russia in the fourth quarter of this year, Head of Viber e-commerce Zephrin Lasker said.

Monthly active audience of Viber in Russia amounts to 45 mln users, according to June 2018 data.

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