friend.tech is the latest player to join the competitive field of decentralized social media platforms and shake up the crypto space. However, unlike its rivals that champion decentralization, censorship-resistance, and meaningful contribution to discussion, friend.tech operates slightly differently.
Imagine having a direct line to the cryptocurrency industry’s most influential figures. The potential is undeniable.
Have a burning question about Binance’s Bitcoin (BTC) reserves? Pop in a private chat with Changpeng ‘CZ’ Zhao and ask him yourself. Want to know more about the next step in Ethereum (ETH) scaling or emerging DeFi primitives? Vitalik Buterin is just a message away.
Welcome to friend.tech, a new network that dares to ask: How much is your friendship truly worth in the Web3 world?
Table of Contents
- What Is friend.tech?
- Friend.tech’s Explosive Launch
- Concerns and Controversy
- Who’s Behind friend.tech?
- Will There Be a friend.tech Airdrop?
- Pros and Cons of friend.tech
- On the Flipside
- Why This Matters
What Is friend.tech?
friend.tech is a decentralized social media platform, but it’s far from your typical online networking site for liking posts and sharing memes. Built on Coinbase’s Layer-2 Base, this innovative platform allows users to tokenize their X profiles, transforming their online identity into a tradable asset.
Think of it as a fusion of traditional social media dynamics with the financial intricacies of the crypto world. Users don’t just connect; they invest in connections, buying and selling ‘shares’ or ‘keys’ that give them exclusive access to their favorite accounts.
This new approach to online relationships has captured the attention of tech enthusiasts and sparked debates and discussions across the digital asset industry.
At the time of writing, there is no official desktop site for friend.tech. The app is only available on Android or iOS devices.
How Does friend.tech work?
After finding an invite code and installing the friend.tech app, users can immediately register on the platform and connect their existing X/Twitter account. Each new friend.tech account comes with a built-in Base chain crypto wallet, which needs to be funded with ETH before diving into the full utilities of the app.
Essentially, friend.tech helps you tokenize your X profile into digital assets called ‘Keys’ (These were originally called ‘Shares’ before friend.tech swiftly renamed the concept, but more on that later).
Holding the keys to an account means you can speak with that profile in private conversations or group chats with other key holders.
The value of these keys is dynamic. As with any market, supply, demand, and market hype play a significant role. The more popular a user becomes, the higher the potential value of their keys. On top of that, every time a set of keys changes hands, the associated profile earns a cut of the sale.
As you can imagine, having a high share price for your keys can be extremely profitable for large accounts.
The concept is certainly unique but presents some obvious flaws. For example, owning someone’s keys doesn’t mean they must respond to your messages.
Why Use friend.tech?
In a digital age where countless social media platforms compete for our attention, what sets friend.tech apart? Why should you consider using friend.tech over any other decentralized social network?
- Direct Access to Thought Leaders – Have you ever wanted to chat one-on-one with a prominent figure in the crypto space? How about a real-world celebrity? friend.tech’s model opens this direct line of communication, provided you hold their “keys.” It’s a unique way to bridge the gap between big names and their followers.
- Trading Keys – Finding the undervalued keys of high-profile influencers offers profit potential. By strategically buying and selling shares, users can reap financial benefits, especially if they’re early adopters of rising stars or popular groups.
- Influencer Monetization – Crypto influencers can use friend.tech to monetize their accounts. For example, some traders have set up signal groups using friend.tech, where the market decides the entrance ticket to their private club, and they earn money based on trading fees.
- A Different Kind of Engagement – The platform’s model fosters a new form of social engagement. It’s not just about following or liking; it’s about investing in relationships and connections.
Friend.tech’s Explosive Launch
While decentralized social media networks are hardly a new product in the blockchain world, friend. Thanks to its meteoric launch, the tech has been making waves amongst crypto news outlets.
Within two weeks of its launch, friend.tech has notched over 2M on-chain transactions on the Base network and generated over $3M USD in protocol fees.
friend.tech was quick to amass over 100,000 unique users, while data from DefiLlama suggests the platform now boasts over $5M in TVL (Total Value Locked). The platform has witnessed over $38M worth of trading volume.
The platform didn’t just attract the average crypto enthusiast. While the crypto community is undoubtedly the largest user demographic, friend.tech has also attracted the likes of NBA stars and gaming influencers like Grayson Allen and FaZe Banks, respectively.
However, as with any spectacular growth, friend.tech’s launch wasn’t without its challenges. Its mysterious origins and initial concerns about privacy policies and network performance raised plenty of eyebrows in the crypto space.
Concerns and Controversy
With its dazzling rise, friend.tech found itself under the magnifying glass of scrutiny. While early adopters were quick to heap praise on the new social media app, several concerns and controversies threatened to cast shadows over its shining debut.
Data and Privacy Issues
The platform’s commitment to privacy was questioned when a database containing critical user data was alledgedly leaked. This database linked Ethereum wallet addresses to the Twitter usernames of over 101,000 friend.tech users, effectively doxing these addresses.
Such incidents raised alarms about the platform’s ability to safeguard user data, drawing comparisons to other controversial projects like Arkham Intelligence. Putting its users at ease, friend.tech took to X, suggesting that the data was scrapped from a public API and was essentially the same as looking at someone’s Twitter feed.
Potential Regulatory Problems
While innovative, owning ‘Shares’ or ‘Keys’ in someone’s social media profile also raised legal eyebrows. The U.S. crypto industry, already navigating murky waters regarding what the SEC constitutes a security, may find that friend.tech’s model is problematic.
It’s been speculated that the platform’s decision to rename ‘Shares’ to ‘Keys’ was seen by many as an attempt to sidestep potential regulatory challenges. Is every X account who used friend.tech going to find themselves in trouble with the SEC for selling unregistered securities? Only time will tell.
Who’s Behind friend.tech?
Despite attracting seed round investment from reputable venture capital firms like Paradigm, friend.tech’s origins remain shrouded in mystery.
Coinbase Software Engineer Yuga Cohler highlighted the situation, introducing Racer, or @0xRaceralt, as friend.tech’s enigmatic founder. Before launching friend.tech, Racer has a history of launching social experiments in the Web3 world.
Earlier this year, Racer and co-founder Shrimpepe launched StealCam, a media distribution platform where users would trade blurred NFT images. Other experiments include TweetDAO, an NFT project that gave every holder access to a singular community-owned Twitter account.
Will There Be a friend.tech Airdrop?
A crypto airdrop is a token distribution method that rewards early adopters and users with cryptocurrency, sometimes worth thousands of dollars. Among emerging crypto projects, airdrops are a popular tool for building a community.
While a friend.tech airdrop hasn’t been officially confirmed, there are promising signs that early users will be rewarded for their time. 100M friend.tech points will distributed off-chain to users every Friday over a 6-month beta period.
Little is known about what role these points will play in the friend.tech ecosystem, but the platform’s X account has hinted they’ll have a ‘special purpose.’
Pros and Cons of friend.tech
Every innovation, especially one as groundbreaking as friend.tech, comes with its set of advantages and challenges. Understanding the platform’s strengths and weaknesses is crucial as users and potential investors navigate this new frontier of decentralized social media.
- Monetizing Social Media – friend.tech offers a unique opportunity for users to monetize their online identity, turning social engagements into potential financial gains.
- Networking Opportunities – The social media app bridges the gap between thought leaders and their followers, introducing a new way of making connections online.
- A New Style of Trading – Savvy social media users can profit by flipping the keys of up-and-coming accounts.
- Regulatory Uncertainty – The “shares” or “keys” model could face regulatory challenges, especially concerning what constitutes a security in the crypto space.
- Key Price Volatility – As with any investment, risk is involved. An account’s share price is likely to fluctuate, which could result in losses for traders.
On the Flipside
- Racer, the friend.tech founder, has a history of launching social experiments in the crypto space that typically fade to obscurity shortly after launch. Obvious disclaimer: It’s important always to do your own research and make informed decisions before going all in on the newest trend.
Why This Matters
Decentralized social media is one of the most commonly discussed use cases of blockchain technology. Staying current on emerging platforms can help you understand this dynamic crypto market niche.
friend.tech is a decentralized social media app built on Base, the Ethereum Layer 2 incubated by Coinbase.
The easiest way to find friend.tech invite codes is to search ‘friend tech invite codes’ on X, where plenty of users are trying to share their codes in anticipation of a future airdrop.
Like any social media platform, friend.tech has its fair share of scammers and impersonators looking to make dishonest money. Keep your wits about you and always double-check that a friend.tech account matches its official X profile before trading keys.