There’s an old saying that “the third time’s the charm.” Mark Zuckerberg and Meta will be hoping that’s true as they attempt to launch ‘Zuck Bucks’ after two previous failures with Facebook Credits in 2009 and Libra/Diem in 2021.
Meta is allegedly hoping to launch virtual coins to be used on the platform. The move comes after the firm suffered a $230 billion or roughly a 25% drop in the value of its stock in a single day in February.
Zuck Bucks and reputation tokens
According to the Financial Times, which first reported this story, Meta wants to develop virtual coins for users of Facebook, Whatsapp, and Instagram. The aim is to reduce the company’s dependence on ad revenue while revitalizing its user base.
Meta has been struggling to keep up with newer competitors like TikTok. This, combined with reputational damage done during recent controversies, caused Meta to experience its first contraction in users in early 2022.
In an effort to adapt to the times, Meta Financial Technologies has supposedly been developing digital tokens to help the company with its ‘Metaverse’ pivot. This will involve social tokens to be used by users and creator coins to be used by influencers.
Sources told the FT that these would not be blockchain-based digital currencies like Meta’s Diem project. However, this doesn’t mean the company is abandoning blockchain technology entirely. In March, Zuckerberg himself indicated that Instagram would introduce NFTs within months.
Analysis and opinion: Every dog has its day, but the writing is on the wall for Meta
Meta is clearly aware of the trends dominating the tech sector today, and while it is attempting to adapt and keep up, it’s unlikely to succeed in remaining the top social media company for long.
Why so? While introducing social tokens and creator coins will no doubt provide a novel change for Meta’s stagnant user base, its core business model is broken beyond repair. This model is fundamentally extractive and predatory, and it will not be able to pivot away from its ad-based revenue model easily. Long-term, Meta’s platforms will continue to lose users to alternatives like Snapchat and TikTok, but even these are a temporary stopgap on the highway to the ultimate destination: a completely peer-to-peer alternative to the internet fueled by micropayments.
Platforms like Twetch and Relica have successfully laid the groundwork and shown how legacy platforms like Facebook and Instagram are already obsolete. While Meta can attempt to remain relevant, it’s likely all downhill from here.
Meta’s legal attack on Bitcoin and its inventor
With all of the above problems stated, Meta has an even larger one on its hands. As the zeitgeist changes to one of privacy, peer-to-peer transactions, and recognition of the value of user data, the technology it needs to adapt exists inside a moat of patents owned by Bitcoin’s inventor Dr. Craig Wright and nChain.
In an attempt to overturn these patents in the name of ‘open source development,’ Meta recently joined COPA to sue Dr. Wright and attempt to nullify his claims to his intellectual property. In this ill-fated endeavor, Meta (Mark Zuckerberg) sits alongside companies like Block (run by Twitter board member and co-founder Jack Dorsey) and MicroStrategy (Michael Saylor), none of whom like the idea that Bitcoin’s inventor has any say over how his protocol is used or for what purpose he originally developed it. Yet, these web2 tech giants along with Twitter’s latest board member and largest investor Elon Musk, understand all-too-well how the original Bitcoin (BSV) from Satoshi Nakamoto’s White Paper implementation makes their business models obsolete, hence the legal action against Dr. Wright and them investing virtually limitless funding to attack him.
However, like Meta’s Diem project, this attempt will ultimately fail. Whether self-appointed tech overlords like Mark Zuckerberg, Jack Dorsey and Elon Musk like it or not, intellectual property rights are real. While all of this futility plays out, Bitcoin applications will slowly chip away at legacy business models until there’s nothing left to defend. As the BSV Blockchain protocol scales to be able to handle hundreds of millions and then billions of daily transactions, and as killer apps like CryptoFights and Haste Arcade draw in new users and show them how Bitcoin really works, this will happen with increasing speed.
It will be a long road, and Meta will likely remain viable for some years to come, but in the end, what was once the world’s hottest tech company is doomed unless it can find a way to fundamentally change. Introducing Meta-controlled influencer tokens and social tokens won’t cut the mustard.
Watch: CoinGeek New York panel, BSV vs other blockchains—the differences that matter
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