Meta Platforms (FB), Facebook’s parent company, has put together preliminary plans to release virtual coins, tokens and lending services on its apps, according to the Financial Times.
Meta Financial Technologies has been exploring the creation of a virtual currency for the metaverse, or “Zuck Bucks” as it’s being referred to by company employees, the FT reported, citing several people familiar with the matter.
The latest move comes not long after the company’s ill-fated move into cryptocurrency. What was left of Meta’s Libra/Diem stablecoin project was sold to Silvergate Bank earlier this year. The FT reported that Meta doesn’t envision a blockchain-based digital currency, but in-app tokens that are centrally controlled by the company.
The planning reportedly remains in early stages, and the project could be dropped or altered, or both, according to the FT. Meta is also said to be exploring a move into traditional financial services, such as small business lending.
Efforts at integrating non-fungible tokens (NFTs) into Facebook and Instagram are more developed, the report said. According to an internal memo, Instagram will soon support NFTs and there are plans for a mid-May pilot launch for posting NFTs on Facebook.
A Meta company spokesperson told CoinDesk it didn’t have new plans to share at this time. “We have no updates to share today. We continuously consider new product innovations for people, businesses and creators. As a company, we are focused on building for the metaverse and that includes what payments and financial services might look like.”
UPDATE (April 6, 22:03 UTC) : Adds Meta spokesperson comment.
The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.