Meta reportedly plans to launch a social token for its metaverse

    10 Apr 2022
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    Meta is reportedly trying to develop its own token to support its ambition of connecting users through the Metaverse. More tokens may be developed as Meta builds a metaverse, the report outlined.

    Despite Meta (ex-Facebook) recently giving up on its plans to create the Diem stablecoin, it’s reportedly still interested in creating tokens for use within the metaverse.

    According to the FT report, Meta is exploring a centralized in-app token similar to ROBUX for the game Roblox. In other words, this likely wouldn’t be a cryptocurrency. FT said some Meta staffers are referring to the tokens as “Zuck Bucks.”

    Also, FT details potential plans for social tokens, reputation tokens, and creator coins. The publication warns, however, that the discussions are still early and “could change or be dropped.”

    Meantime, the race is on to build the metaverse. Although the word implies something all-encompassing, Web3 companies are forging ahead with an open-source version of the metaverse that they say is separate from Facebook’s efforts.

    Yat Siu, executive chairman of game publisher and venture capital firm Animoca Brands, told Decrypt in October that Meta represented a “threat” to the open metaverse.

    “Facebook is looking to build a closed metaverse, one where they control the data and the network effects that the data derives, so what they are building is less competition than simply antithetical to what we are doing,” Siu added in January.

    However, Meta continued pushing forward. FT says that the company is planning a May pilot for an NFT posting feature and says an internal document shows it’s considering monetizing the blockchain-based assets with “fees and/or ads.” NFTs are a key cog in most visions of the metaverse.

    Nonetheless, interacting with people and NFTs in the metaverse will require a currency, but it won’t be Diem (prior Libra). Meta announced the stablecoin project in the summer of 2019, but after enduring multiple setbacks—many of them regulatory—ended the project; it sold its remaining assets and intellectual property to crypto-focused bank Silvergate earlier this year.

    “Staffers are now trying to find the least regulated way to offer a digital currency, two people said, with a digital token that is not based on the blockchain emerging as the most attractive option,” FT reports.

    “We have no updates to share today,” a Meta spokesperson told Reuters, adding that the company is focused on building for the metaverse “and that includes what payments and financial services might look like.”

    Mark Zuckerberg, chief executive officer of Meta, said last month that Instagram will introduce non-fungible tokens (NFTs) in the “near-term”.

    Earlier this year, Meta joined the Crypto Open Patent Alliance (COPA), a group of companies led by Jack Dorsey’s Block Inc that has pledged to promote open access to cryptocurrency technologies.

    Meta has also filed for trademarks of new names, Meta Portal and Meta Horizon, to cover VR, AR, social networking, and mixed reality software. Horizon is a metaverse project on the Meta-owned Oculus platform. Including the Meta name into the branding may indicate a broader movement for the company to open up the metaverse beyond VR.

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