Meta Platforms (FB -0.16%) had a bad day on Thursday, with its stock falling marginally versus the S&P 500 index's 0.4 % gain. The social media beast's ideas for a digital currency were met with a collective shrug for the second time.
According to the Financial Times, Meta Platforms' speciality unit has established digital currency and credit services plans. These would most likely be made available to the company's large user base.
The unit, Meta Financial Technologies, seeks to anchor this next-generation financial ecosystem with a virtual currency to be utilized in the company's metaverse, citing "many people familiar with the initiatives."
Employees at Meta Platforms refer to the money as "Zuck Bucks," after the company's founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg.
In all likelihood, the Zuck Buck would not be a cryptocurrency in the traditional sense.
Instead, it will serve as a proprietary in-app token, similar to how Robux is utilized in the Roblox ecosystem for transactions.
As per "business documents and others close to the ideas," users might be granted "social tokens" or "reputation tokens" for certain types of Facebook postings. For influencers on the company's popular photo-sharing platform Instagram, "creator coins" were created.
The terms "Meta Platforms" and "digital currency" are likely to conjure up unpleasant memories for the company's investors. While the firm is still known as Facebook, it announced the development of the Libra stablecoin in 2019. (later renamed to Diem). However, regulatory opposition and the withdrawal of partners from the project, among other obstacles, forced it to abandon those ambitious goals.
As a result, there's a general lack of faith in the company's capacity to complete a complex financial project. Many investors are likely to believe that Meta Platforms can find more efficient (non-Zuck) ways to make money.
As Facebook's growth slows, Meta Platforms is looking for ways to expand into e-commerce using non-blockchain currencies named after the company's founder, Mark Zuckerberg.
Given past troubles with crypto projects Libra/Diem, the Financial Times initially reported that Facebook's parent company is pursuing non-blockchain-based digital currency as a strategy to grow into e-commerce in the "least regulated way" possible.
According to reports, Meta plans to create digital tokens within its apps and proprietary metaverse to enter into e-commerce to counter Meta ad losses. After its creator, Mark Zuckerberg, one of the test tokens was called "Zuck Bucks".
Last month, Meta filed multiple crypto-related trademark filings for crypto tokens, blockchain software, and virtual currency exchanges, indicating that it is keeping its options open.
In response to a comment enquiry, a Meta spokeswoman stated, "We don't have any news to provide today. We're always thinking about new product ideas for individuals, businesses, and creators. We're focusing on creating for the metaverse as a firm, which includes how payments and financial services might appear."
In light of the firm's previous crypto flops of Libra and Diem, the Financial Times first reported on Wednesday that Facebook's parent company, Meta, is seeking non-blockchain-based digital currencies as a strategy to grow into e-commerce in the "least regulated way" possible. The story was based on a trove of internal memos and anonymous interviews.
Meta Platforms' stock price plunged 26% in February, wiping out more than $250 billion in market value in a single day, making it the most significant valuation decline in US stock market history.
Due to severe competition from competitors like TikTok, YouTube, and WeChat, the firm reported substantial decreases in Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp advertising revenue.
According to the FT story, Meta plans to issue non-crypto digital tokens and "creator coins" as prizes for content developers within its applications and proprietary metaverse to offset ad losses by expanding into retail. According to reports, one of the test tokens was called "Zuck Bucks", after the company's founder, Mark Zuckerberg. Meta is most likely experimenting with non-crypto virtual currency possibilities to avoid retaliation from US regulators, who have previously rejected Facebook/attempts at Meta's to enter the digital currency market.
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In response to my email request today seeking comment on Meta's e-commerce plan, a Meta spokesman stated, "We don't have any news to report today. We're always thinking about new product ideas for individuals, businesses, and creators. We're focusing on creating for the metaverse as a firm, which includes how payments and financial services might appear."
Facebook launched a strategic relationship with prominent cryptocurrency trading exchange Coinbase in a pilot project to give Facebook's own digital wallet, dubbed Novi, to users in some geographies last October, before changing its name to Meta.
That Novi venture was a watered-down version of Facebook's first entry into crypto, unveiled in 2019 with plans for a Libra coin. The Libra proposal, on the other hand, drew bipartisan criticism from US politicians and central bankers, who said that Facebook's 2.9 billion users comprised a population larger than China and India combined. Officials were concerned that the Libra currency would be soon adopted, causing monetary systems and small country currencies to collapse. As a result, Facebook entirely redesigned Libra and distanced itself from project control, resulting in the creation of Diem, a new "independent" currency apart from Facebook and its Novi wallet.
As the Facebook parent moves to tighten down on hate speech and misinformation, Meta Platforms Inc suspended a network of over 400 accounts, pages, and organizations on Wednesday before general elections in the Philippines.
Concerns over online hate speech have grown as candidates and supporters increasingly use social media to campaign for the May 9 election, despite the coronavirus outbreak disrupting traditional means.
Last month, presidential candidates in the country emphasized the importance of holding social media corporations accountable for the propagation of misinformation.
According to a blog post published on Wednesday, advertisers in the Philippines would have to complete Meta's ad authorisations process and put 'Paid for by' disclosures on ads involving elections, politics, and specific categories of social concerns.
Meta's move comes after it revised its stance in Ukraine last month, allowing for temporary calls for violence while also narrowing its content moderation policy to ban demands for the death of a head of state.
The reference to the Philippines NPA concerning suspended accounts has been removed from this story.