WHAT ARE ZUCK BUCKS? THE NEW FACEBOOK META CURRENCY
It must be frustrating for Mark Zuckerberg of Meta. From college, until recently, he had nothing but good luck, incredible wealth and power. Now, new privacy policies, the rise of TikTok stealing market share from social networking platforms controlled by him, and a multi-billion dollar turnaround in the metaverse are hurting both Zuckerberg’s reputation and net worth.
Meta, according to the Financial Times, is exploring the creation of digital asset tokens for people to use in its metaverse project.
Its cryptocurrency is derisively known as “Zuck Bucks”. This could be another pivot, like the metaverse, to find additional revenue streams to offset its recent financial challenges. Meta lost more than $220 billion in market valuation in February due to the various assaults on its core business model.
Developed by Meta Financial Technologies, the Zuck Buck would serve as an in-app token, controlled by Meta. This is similar to other tokens that players have been using for a long time. The Zuck token can be a tradable asset or used to buy things on its various social media platforms.
It has been reported that Meta can create “social tokens”, which could be given to people for their contribution on Facebook. “Creator coins” could be provided to influencers on Instagram to incentivise them to up their game and win back the audience that TikTok is pulling away from. There may also be several other financial services products launched as well. This may include small business loans and NFTs that could be minted, bought, sold and traded.
This is not the first foray into digital assets. In 2009, Facebook, as it was known at the time, was ahead of its time when it started Facebook Credits to help in-game purchases within online games such as Farmville.
Recently, the social media giant launched Libra, a proposed virtual cryptocurrency. It was immediately met with public scepticism, distrust and regulatory scrutiny. This eventually led many of the executives and workers involved in the project to leave the organisation. Libra was rebranded as Diem in late 2020, but failed to gain traction and was shut down earlier this year.
It’s easy and fashionable to mock Zuckerberg, but we shouldn’t dismiss him. Like him or not, he has proven himself to be a shrewd businessman. Shamelessly, he freely clones competing companies or buys them outright.
Zuckerberg still has a huge war chest at his disposal and several successful social media platforms that generate generous revenues. It will be interesting to watch and see whether this new crypto asset will take off or become another recent failure.