Facebook parent Meta is considering a move into virtual currency through “Zuck Bucks”, seemingly named after its CEO Mark Zuckerberg, reported the Financial Times (FT) citing people privy to the matter.
The aim is to create in-app tokens, which will be centrally controlled by the firm. This would mirror the Robux currency in children’s online gaming platform Roblox.
However, it is “unlikely” to be a cryptocurrency based on the blockchain, reported the publication.
The plan aims to offer alternative revenue streams as well as new features in a bid to boost user retention.
Plans are on to create “social tokens” or “reputation tokens” to be used as rewards for contributions in Facebook groups, among other purposes.
The company is also weighing the launch of “creator coins” for certain influencers on Instagram.
Furthermore, the company is considering more traditional financial services, such as offering small business loans, the publication further noted.
The firm earlier had talks with potential lending partners, one of the people with knowledge of the development reportedly said.
However, as per FT, the plans are still in the preliminary phase and could be scrapped and changed.
The company did not confirm the news.
Earlier this year, Meta finance division head Stephane Kasriel was quoted as saying in a memo: “We’re making changes to our product strategy and road map . . . so we can prioritise on building for the metaverse and on what payments and financial services will look like in this digital world.”
Citing a memo, the FT also said that Meta is mulling a pilot for posting and sharing NFTs on Facebook by mid-May. Besides, it is planning trials for enabling membership of Facebook groups based on NFT ownership and another for minting NFTs soon after.
Facebook announced cryptocurrency Libra in 2019 but faced backlash from regulators, following which it was renamed as Diem. However, regulator woes still remained, resulting in the project being ultimately ditched.