Within the first 24 hours of its release, decentralized social network Friend.tech raked in over $1 million in fees, eclipsing prominent players such as Uniswap and the Bitcoin (BTC) network. Now, the platform has accumulated an awe-inspiring total project revenue of more than $800,000, processing over 650,000 transactions involving 60,000 unique traders.
The architect behind this project is speculated to be an anonymous developer recognised as Racer. Racer’s prior projects include TweetDAO and Stealcam social networks, where NFTs sit at their core. With the launch of Friend.tech, Racer aims to entice high-profile crypto influencers and their followers, allowing them to earn royalties from trading fees while enhancing relationships within the Web3 community.
Users of Friend.tech can tokenize their social networks and trade “shares” of their connections, creating a new stream of communication. However, despite this innovative concept and resounding success, the platform faces its own set of challenges and criticism.
A primary concern revolves around the platform’s business model which solely relies on trading fees, neglecting the potential effect of the number of shareholders. Transactions fees could be potentially exploited by high profile individuals to create Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt (FUD) to generate higher income, as pointed out by a pseudonymous DeFi researcher called Ignas.
Furthermore, as the platform’s share prices ascend, it’s feared it may lead to the formation of smaller groups or alternative group creations, creating fractious cliques and potentially destabilising the intended democratic system.
Perhaps the most alarming query associated with Friend.tech is the question tied to data privacy. The platform’s API can be manipulated to extract sensitive data such as users wallets. This concern rose to prominence when a Yearn Finance core developer exposed a list of 101,000+ users along with their respective wallet addresses and Twitter usernames.
While there is no denying that Friend.tech has made an indelible mark within the nascent blockchain-based social networking scene, these issues warrant serious deliberation. The platform’s massive success is countered by valid concerns about its business model, potential exploitation, and above all, data privacy. We are left to wonder if this platform will manage to navigate these stormy waters and thrive in the long run.