Meta may have given up on its Diem cryptocurrency, but the company is still exploring finance products, according to a new Financial Times report. The parent company of Facebook and Instagram reportedly has a few irons in the fire, including virtual currency employees have apparently taken to calling “Zuck Bucks.”
Zuck Bucks, seemingly named for Meta founder, chairman, and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, are “unlikely” to be a cryptocurrency. “Instead, Meta is leaning towards introducing in-app tokens that would be centrally controlled by the company, similar to those used in gaming apps such as the Robux currency in popular children’s game Roblox,” according to the FT. Roblox has built a huge business selling Robux, and Meta could try to emulate some of that success on its own platforms.
Meta hasn’t totally distanced itself from blockchain products, as the company is also looking into posting and sharing NFTs on Facebook. The FT says the company plans to launch a pilot for doing just that in mid-May, according to a memo, and soon after, Meta will test allowing “membership of Facebook groups based on NFT ownership and another for minting” NFTs. The FT previously reported on some of Meta’s NFT plans for Facebook and Instagram in January, and Zuckerberg announced in March that NFTs would be coming to Instagram.
In addition, Meta is exploring “social tokens” or “reputation tokens,” which “could be issued as rewards for meaningful contributions in Facebook groups, for example,” the FT reports. The company is also apparently looking into traditional financial services like small business loans.
“We have no updates to share today,” Meta spokesperson Lauren Dickson said in a statement to The Verge. “We continuously consider new product innovations for people, businesses, and creators. As a company, we are focused on building for the metaverse and that includes what payments and financial services might look like.”
We’ll have to wait and see how Zuck Bucks or other rumored projects pan out and if they can help Meta overcome some of its recent troubles. But one high-profile person appears to be a big fan of Facebook’s plans: former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey.