After other communications apps like Telegram, Line, and Kik, the latest to throw their hat in the crypto ring is Viber. According to a news report from Tass, Viber CEO Djamel Agaoua said their parent company, Rakuten’s native token Rakuten Coin could launch in Russia next year.
Viber is a messaging app developed in Israel. Japanese internet giant Rakuten acquired the app in 2014 for $900 Million and has over a billion registered users globally.
Viber is the most popular messaging app in the countries of Ethiopia, Tajikistan, Armenia, Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Serbia. The Tass report indicates that Viber also boasts of 45 million active users in Russia.
Rakuten is the fourth-largest e-commerce business in the world, behind giants like Alibaba, eBay, and Amazon. In February of this year, the firm launched its native cryptocurrency, dubbed Rakuten Coin. The coin is closely tied with the firm’s loyalty point system. The firm is reportedly engaged in a study of Russian law in order to make the launch of their crypto as smooth as possible.
Viber’s Agaoua revealed to reporters that the Rakuten Coin will be tradeable on Viber and will appear on the Viber Wallet as well. He also revealed the coin can be sent to other users and the coin can also be exchanged for fiat currency, namely in Rubles, Dollars, and Euros. The CEO clarified that transfers to bank accounts will be dependent on Russian law.
Messaging apps have started to leverage the power and popularity of cryptocurrencies. In 2017, Kik Messenger raised almost $100 million for its Kin Token, While Telegram raised $1.7 billion earlier this year. Last week, Line revealed the upcoming launch of its own cryptocurrency exchange, named Bitbox. Bitbox will list 30 of the most popular cryptocurrencies and offers low trading fees. Bitbox will support 15 languages and will launch globally, except for two countries.