April 15, 2024
Friend.tech hype is skyrocketing, but will it actually reach the stars?


Fast early growth doesn’t always guarantee a sustainable business

Since Friend.tech opened its invite-only beta test 11 days ago, the decentralized social-focused app has quickly attracted a lot of users, even catching the attention of big name crypto influencers, NBA players and OnlyFans creators. But can it convert all the early hype to meaningful, lasting traction?

The app, built on Coinbase’s layer-2 blockchain Base, allows users to tokenize their likeness by selling “shares” of themselves to their followers, who then become shareholders and can message the users directly. The app was quickly picked up and popularized by “Crypto Twitter” personalities like Frank DeGods and gainzy222, trading influencer RookieXBT, and NBA player Grayson Allen, to name a few.

Since its launch, Friend.tech has seen total volume of 33,596 ether, or about $55.5 million, across 1.29 million transactions, according to Dune analytics data from Michael Silberling, a data analyst at OP Labs. (Disclosure: Silberling is a sibling of Amanda Silberling, a TechCrunch reporter.)

In the past 24 hours, the platform has brought in $1.42 million in fees and $709,839 in revenue, making it the third-largest fee and revenue generator in the entirety of crypto during that time frame, only trailing the Ethereum blockchain itself and staking service Lido, according to DefiLlama data. The platform charges a total of 10% in fees per transaction, with 5% going to Friend.tech and the other 5% going to the account holder.

But despite the app’s significant early traction, many people are skeptical about its viability due to its lack of a privacy policy, the requirement to deposit ether upon signing up, a reportedly laggy interface, and an unclear roadmap. While the app does allow those profiting from the shares to cash out, there’s little clarity on the security measures in place, the liquidity structure and other aspects of its operations.

Friend.tech is also arguably a newer take of a slightly more controversial attempt by BitClout (later rebranded to DeSo). A crypto social network that let people buy and sell tokens based on people’s reputations, DeSo launched in 2021 to much hype. But traction eventually fizzled, and the app got into legal trouble for preloading users onto its platform without their permission.





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