Friend.tech is a decentralized social media app that allows users to buy and sell “shares” or “keys” of other users, granting them access to private chat rooms and a share of the trading fees. The app, which launched on August 10, 2023, has quickly become a viral sensation in the crypto community, attracting celebrities, influencers, and investors alike. But is Friend.tech a sustainable and innovative project, or just a fad that will soon fade away?
The rise of Friend.tech
Friend.tech is built on Base, an Ethereum layer 2 protocol developed by Coinbase that enables fast and cheap transactions for decentralized applications. The app was created by a pseudonymous developer named Racer, who previously made Stealcam, a controversial platform that allowed users to steal webcam feeds from unsuspecting victims and sell them for crypto.
Friend.tech claims to be “the marketplace for your friends”, where users can create their own tokens and sell them to anyone who wants to chat with them or support them. The price of each token is determined by supply and demand, and the token holders can also earn a percentage of the trading fees generated by the platform. The app also allows users to create groups and communities based on their interests and preferences.
The app has attracted a lot of attention from the crypto industry, as well as from mainstream media and celebrities. Some of the notable names who have joined Friend.tech include NBA player Grayson Allen, esports star FaZe Banks, rapper Lil Yachty, and entrepreneur Mark Cuban. According to Coindesk, Friend.tech gained more than 100,000 users in just two weeks after its launch, and saw over $35 million worth of tokens traded on its platform.
The challenges and risks of Friend.tech
Another major challenge that Friend.tech may encounter is the regulatory uncertainty surrounding its token model. The app recently changed the name of its tokens from “shares” to “keys”, presumably to avoid any implication that it is offering unregistered securities to its users. However, this may not be enough to satisfy the regulators, who may still consider the tokens as securities or commodities that require compliance with existing laws and regulations. For example, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has been cracking down on several crypto projects that have issued tokens without proper registration or disclosure.
Furthermore, some analysts have questioned the sustainability and innovation of Friend.tech’s business model. They argue that the app is essentially a gamified version of existing social media platforms, where users can monetize their popularity and influence. However, they doubt whether this model can create long-term value and engagement for both the creators and the consumers of the tokens. They also suggest that the app may face competition from other decentralized social media platforms that offer more features and functionalities than Friend.tech.
The future of Friend.tech
Despite these challenges and risks, Friend.tech’s developers have expressed their optimism and confidence in their project. They told Decrypt that they are planning to introduce various fixes and features to improve their app, such as adding verification badges for verified users, enabling tipping and donations for creators, allowing users to customize their profiles and tokens, and integrating with other Base-based apps. They also said that they are working on creating a governance system that will allow the community to vote on important decisions regarding the platform.
Friend.tech’s developers also claimed that their app is more than just a social media platform; it is a new way of creating value and relationships in the digital world. They said that their app is part of the Web3 movement, which aims to create a more decentralized, open, and user-centric internet. They believe that Friend.tech can empower users to own their data and identity, control their content and monetization, and connect with like-minded people across the globe.
Friend.tech is undoubtedly one of the most popular and controversial crypto projects in recent times. It has shown the potential and challenges of creating a decentralized social media app on Base protocol. Whether it will succeed or fail remains to be seen, but it will certainly have an impact on the future of crypto financialization.