Unchained 2000x2000

Friend.tech | The Legal and Tax Ins and Outs of This Year’s Hottest Crypto App

This decentralized social platform is where 'Friend Keys' linked to friends on X (formerly Twitter) have surged in value, amassing 100,000 users since its August 10 launch.

September 6, 2023

Friend.tech, a decentralized social media platform in which you can buy and sell “keys” in your friends on X (formerly known as Twitter) whose value can go up and down, has become a viral sensation, racking up as many as 100,000 users since launching on August 10.

Should keys be considered securities and thus regulated by the SEC? How should gains and losses be taxed? And how private should users assume their communications and transactions on the platform are? Securities and banking law professor at George Mason Law School JW Verret, and tax partner and co-head of the Digital Assets and Blockchain Practice at Fried, Frank Jason Schwartz, share their thoughts.

Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Overcast, Podcast Addict, Pocket Casts, Stitcher, Castbox, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music, or on your favorite podcast platform.

Show Highlights |

  • How Friend.tech works and how the price of keys is determined
  • How Friend.tech is different from many other past attempts at creating a decentralized social media platform
  • Whether the keys offered by Friend.tech could be deemed securities by the SEC
  • What wrapped Friend.tech tokens are and whether these could be considered securities
  • Why the traditional approach to crypto taxation is bad for most Friend.tech taxpayers
  • What the tax implications of Friend.tech airdrops are
  • What Friend.tech users should assume about their privacy on the app
  • What the future holds for Friend.tech


J.W. Verret, Associate Professor of Law at George Mason Law School

Jason Schwartz, tax partner and co-head of the Digital Assets and Blockchain Practice at Fried, Frank

Links |




Unchained Podcast is produced by Laura Shin Media, LLC, and distributed by CoinDesk. Senior Producer is Michele Musso and Executive Producer is Jared Schwartz.