After Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, ditched its cryptocurrency venture called Diem, it is reportedly planning to launch a virtual currency in its apps, dubbed internally as “Zuck Bucks.”
According to a report by financial timesthe social media conglomerate aims to use the virtual token to reward creators, lending and other financial services.
While still in its early stages, Zuck Bucks’ news comes at a time when Meta is expanding its services around the Metaverse, a virtual environment where people interact, work, and play.
Let’s learn more about Zuck Bucks virtual currency:
What is Zuck Bucks?
Seemingly named after Meta founder, chairman and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Zuck Bucks is probably not a cryptocurrency.
The report of financial times suggests that Meta might gravitate towards in-app tokens that would be centrally controlled by the company.
An example of such a currency is Robux, used in the popular children’s game Roblox, or V-Bucks in Fortnite.
According to the report, Meta’s virtual tokens are intended for the Metaverse and may not be based on blockchain technology.
Similar to Roblox, Zuck could give Bucks Meta a new revenue channel and control over transactions across its apps, including Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and virtual reality platform Meta Quest.
The in-app tokens could likely be used to pay creators on Instagram or reward people who make meaningful posts in Facebook groups.
The company is also exploring traditional financial services, such as offering small business loans.
According to a report by CNETa Meta spokesperson said the company is constantly considering new products.
“As a company, our focus is on building for the Metaverse, and that includes what payments and financial services might look like.”
Not Facebook’s first venture into the financial services space
In its early years, social media platform Facebook introduced credits in 2009 to facilitate in-app purchases in games hosted on the site, such as FarmVille.
Although initially successful, Facebook Credits was discontinued after four years when international payments became a headache due to fluctuating exchange rates.
The company’s more recent cryptocurrency efforts also collapsed after regulators halted the platform’s bid to launch a USD-pegged stablecoin.
In 2019, Facebook announced Libra, a cryptocurrency that would be backed by multiple international currencies, but was criticized by politicians and central bankers for undermining existing currencies.
When several of its partners left the project, Facebook renamed Libra to Diem in late 2020. The cryptocurrency project was shelved after multiple congressional hearings and the departure of high-profile employees.
Diem CEO Stuart Levey said in a press release that the decision to sell was made after “our dialogue with federal authorities made it clear that the project could not move forward.”
With contributions from agencies
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