Tech giant Meta has reportedly drawn up plans for a set of new cryptocurrencies and tokens after similar plans previously failed to manifest.
According to reports from the Financial Times, Meta boss Mark Zuckerberg and company are looking to diversify their sources of revenue streams with methods that can draw and retain new users to supplement the waning popularity of Facebook and Instagram.
To counter the dipping advertisement revenue in its other companies, Meta Financial Technologies, Facebook’s financial arm, has been considering creating a new cryptocurrency designed for the metaverse. As per the Financial Times, the new virtual currency has so far been dubbed as “Zuck Bucks.”
FT’s sources from within the company say that Meta probably won’t put Zuck Bucks on any sort of blockchain, and will instead opt to follow other business models that use in-app tokens which are centrally controlled by the company.
The company is also exploring issuing its own social tokens, or tokens that represent a share in a given group, community or culture, which could presumably be used in things like Facebook groups. As well, Meta is looking at “creator coins” that influencers or popular pages on Instagram could issue as part of a share in their community.
Meta Financial Technologies appears to be attempting a full-spectrum expansion of its traditionally social media-focused business models into e-commerce and payments. FT reports that the unicorn is exploring traditional financial services like small business loans, and is already in talks with potential lending partners. It’s not clear whether these services will be integrated with existing businesses like Facebook or Instagram or if they will be separate systems.
Last month, Zuckerberg said that non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are also on the docket. He revealed they would be coming to Instagram, both via user creation, and the company issuing their own trademark NFTs.
“We talked about stuff like NFTs and the ability, you know, long-term, I would hope that the clothing that your avatar is wearing in the Metaverse can be minted as an NFT, and you can take it between different places,” he said at the SXSW event in Austin, Texas.
Meta’s big expansion, should it come to fruition, will come after several failed attempts to venture into cryptocurrency.
Early this year, reports surfaced that plans for Diem, Meta’s attempt at a USD-backed stablecoin which was originally called Libra, unravelled due to increased regulatory scrutiny.
Sources from Bloomberg said that Diem was negotiating with investment bankers to sell off all its intellectual property and reallocate the engineers who helped contribute to developing the technology.
Meta also has its own digital wallet, which seems to have gone quiet after launching a pilot program late last year. Novi was originally meant to utilize Diem as its main token, but was forced to use PAX Dollars instead. Novi faced harsh scrutiny right out of the gate, with American lawmakers going to great efforts to make their opposition to it heard.
A group of senators led by Elizabeth Warren said in a public letter to Zuckerberg:
“Time and again, Facebook has made conscious business decisions to continue with actions that have harmed its users and the broader society. Facebook cannot be trusted to manage a payment system or digital currency when its existing ability to manage risks and keep consumers safe has proven wholly insufficient. We urge you to immediately discontinue your Novi pilot and to commit that you will not bring Diem to market.”