Metathe parent organization of social media platforms Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, is developing plans to introduce non-blockchain virtual coins.
According to a recent report Financial Times“Zuck Bucks,” as Meta employees call it internally, is one of these virtual coins designed for the metaverse.
The report notes that this coin will not be a blockchain-based cryptocurrency and adds:
“Instead, Meta is leaning towards implementing tokens in applications that will be centrally controlled by the company, similar to those used in gaming applications such as the Robux currency in the popular children’s game Roblox.”
In-game currency Roblox, can be purchased through in-game apps and then used to pay for avatar upgrades or accessories. Roblox has built a huge business around Robux and Meta may be looking to replicate that success.
The report added that Meta also has plans to create so-called “social tokens” or “reputation tokens” that will reward users for their contributions to the company’s social platforms, mainly Facebook.
“Another attempt is to create ‘creator coins’ that can be associated with specific influencers on its Instagram photo-sharing app,” the report says.
Meta’s removal from blockchain-based tokens/cryptoassets comes after the company’s project to launch a US-backed stablecoin faced huge regulatory backlash and ultimately failed. Then, as reported, the American charter bank Silvergate confirmed plans to buy Dim’s intellectual property.
Led by CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Meta is exploring alternative sources of income as the popularity of its social media staples like Facebook and Instagram continues to decline.
According to Meta’s Q4 2021 and full year results, Facebook lost 1 million daily active users in the last quarter of 2021. And in February, Meta lost more than $220 billion due to its market valuation after Zuckerberg said customers were spending more time with competitors like TIK Tak.
To make up for these losses, Meta is trying to offer more traditional financial services, such as providing loans to small businesses at attractive rates, the report says.
“While nothing is planned for the near future, the company has previously held discussions with potential lending partners,” the FT said, adding that “most of the effort is in the early stages of discussion and is subject to change or termination.”
However, the company has reportedly finalized plans to add support for non-fungible tokens (NFTs) on its social platforms, including Facebook.
In mid-March, Zuckerberg revealed that Instagram would begin supporting NFT “within the next few months.” However, the FT said Meta is also looking to bring NFT to Facebook.
“Meta plans to launch a pilot project to publish and exchange NFTs on Facebook in mid-May,” the report said.
He added that the social platform will then begin testing a feature that could make NFT ownership a requirement for membership in Facebook groups.
Meta’s growing interest in the virtual world and blockchain-based innovation comes as the company’s senior management sees the metaverse as “the next chapter of the Internet.”
“We are making changes to our product strategy and roadmap…so that we can prioritize building the metaverse and how payments and financial services will look like in this digital world,” Stefan Kasriel, Meta’s new head of finance. division, as reported earlier this year.