At this year’s Token2049 Web3 conference in Singapore, a new player emerged as the star of the show — Friend.tech. The decentralized social network made headlines as it defied expectations, experiencing a significant surge in its total value locked. This unexpected turn of events left many skeptics astonished and underlined the crypto community’s growing interest in the platform.
Crypto Integration: The Game-Changer
According to Forkast, Friend.tech’s success was attributed to its unique approach to integrating cryptocurrency seamlessly into the world of social media. Unlike other platforms that focus solely on catering to crypto enthusiasts, Friend.tech aimed to make crypto accessible to the masses without overwhelming them with complex terminology and processes. This strategy proved to be a game-changer.
Paul Veradittakit, Managing Partner at Pantera Capital, noted that Friend.tech excelled in introducing newcomers to Web3 by subtly incorporating cryptocurrency into the social media experience. This approach attracted users who might not have initially been interested in digital assets but were intrigued by the platform’s novel model.
Bypassing Apple Store Policies
One of Friend.tech’s standout features, as highlighted by Alex Pack, Co-founder and Managing Partner at Hack.VC, was its ability to bypass the stringent policies of the Apple Store regarding cryptocurrency. This maneuver allowed Friend.tech to offer users new opportunities for content monetization.
This poses a challenge to the dominance of Web2 social media networks that exert excessive control over user interactions.
Empowering the Creator Economy
Friend.tech’s potential extended beyond its crypto integration. Pack emphasized that the platform could reshape the creator economy, giving creators more control over their content and monetization.
In contrast to platforms like Facebook and Twitter, which gradually intermediated user interactions, Friend.tech aimed to unbundle this process and create a more direct connection between creators and their followers.
Challenges and Opportunities in Web3
While Friend.tech’s success was notable, experts at Token2049 recognized that there were still challenges to overcome in the world of Web3 and decentralized finance (DeFi). Joey Krug from Founders Fund emphasized the need for a significant breakthrough that would differentiate Web3 platforms from existing social media giants.
Building the Infrastructure
To fully realize the potential of platforms like Friend.tech, Pack believes more Web3 infrastructure needs to be developed. This includes the creation of token-gated communities, implementing cash flows and royalties, and streamlining the user experience.
In addition, Min Teo of Ethereal Ventures suggested that DeFi developers could learn valuable lessons from traditional finance systems to improve the ecosystem.
The Role of Stablecoins
Over the past few years, stablecoins emerged as a critical component for expanding the DeFi ecosystem. Pack says that these assets, which represent real-world value, could bridge the gap between traditional finance and DeFi.
As more real-world assets, such as euros, T-bills, and stocks, were integrated into the DeFi landscape, the potential for growth and innovation became substantial in this sector.
The Promise of Artificial Intelligence
Another avenue for growth in DeFi and crypto lies in the integration of artificial intelligence (AI). Pack and Krug highlighted the potential of AI agents to revolutionize financial services by offering more seamless and transparent interactions.
The experts pointed out that this fusion of technology had the potential to streamline various financial processes and attract a wider user base.
Friend.tech’s unexpected success at Token2049 demonstrated the growing interest in crypto-infused social media platforms. Its unique approach to integrating cryptocurrency into the social experience attracted attention and applause from industry experts.
While challenges and opportunities in Web3 and DeFi remain, Friend.tech’s rise signifies a promising future where crypto and social media seamlessly coexist, offering new possibilities for content creators and users alike.
Giancarlo is an economist and researcher by profession. Prior to his addition to Blockzeit’s dynamic team, he was handling several crypto projects for both the government and private sectors as a Project Manager of a consultancy firm.