Friend.tech is a new decentralized social platform that allows users to tokenize their social network and buy and sell shares of their friends and influencers. The platform, which was launched in beta version on Aug. 11, has generated over $1 million in fees in 24 hours on Aug. 19, surpassing established players in the crypto ecosystem, such as Uniswap and Bitcoin networks.
How does Friend.tech work?
Friend.tech is built on Coinbase’s layer-2 network Base, which enables fast and cheap transactions. Users can create a profile on the platform and sell shares of themselves to their followers. The price of each share is determined by a formula that increases exponentially as the supply increases. The platform charges a 5% fee on each transaction, which is split between the platform and the share owner.
By buying someone’s share, the buyer gains access to a private chat with the share owner, where they can interact and exchange messages. The platform also allows users to create groups and invite other users to join them by buying their shares. The platform aims to create a new way of online social interaction, where users can monetize their social network and connect with their favorite influencers.
Who is behind Friend.tech?
The developer behind Friend.tech is believed to be the pseudonymous Racer, who previously created TweetDAO and Stealcam, two social media platforms based on nonfungible tokens (NFTs). Racer has been active on Twitter, promoting the platform and inviting influencers to join it. Some of the notable figures who have signed up for Friend.tech include gaming YouTuber Faze Banks, Russian protest group Pussy Riot, crypto influencer Cobie, and pseudonymous trader Hsaka Trades.
Racer has also announced that Friend.tech has secured seed round funding from Paradigm, a crypto venture capital firm that has backed projects such as Base, Uniswap, MakerDAO, and Compound. Racer said that the partnership with Paradigm will help Friend.tech develop innovative tools for online social interactions.
What are the challenges and opportunities for Friend.tech?
Friend.tech has attracted a lot of attention and activity in the crypto space, with over 64,000 users and more than 24,000 ETH in trading volume since its launch. According to data from DefiLlama, Friend.tech generated $1.12 million in fees in 24 hours on Aug. 19, outperforming Uniswap and Bitcoin networks. The platform has also brought thousands of people on-chain and inspired sign-ups from non-crypto figures.
However, not everyone is convinced that Friend.tech can sustain its growth and popularity for the long term. Some critics have pointed out the potential risks and flaws of the platform, such as:
- The exponential price increase of shares, which could discourage new users from joining or existing users from holding.
- The lack of utility and value proposition of the shares, which only grant access to a private chat that may not be worth the price.
- The possibility of market manipulation, pump-and-dump schemes, and scams on the platform, as users may try to exploit the price mechanism or create fake profiles.
- The privacy and security issues of the platform, as users may expose their personal information or messages to hackers or malicious actors.
- The legal and regulatory uncertainties of the platform, as it may face challenges from authorities or lawsuits from users.
Some analysts have compared Friend.tech to BitClout, a predecessor DeSo app that launched in 2021 and allowed users to buy and sell tokens representing celebrities and influencers. BitClout faced a lot of criticism and controversy for its questionable practices, such as creating tokens without consent, locking users’ funds, and lacking transparency. BitClout also lost its momentum and popularity after its initial hype.
On the other hand, some supporters have praised Friend.tech for its novel developments in UX for crypto applications, such as:
- The seamless integration with Base network, which enables fast and cheap transactions without compromising security or decentralization.
- The simple and intuitive interface of the platform, which allows users to easily create profiles, buy and sell shares, and chat with other users.
- The gamification and socialization aspects of the platform, which create a fun and engaging experience for users.
- The innovation and experimentation potential of the platform, which could lead to new features and use cases for DeSo.