Multiple trends show a move toward social currency as a legitimate method of payment.

Currency has always been representative. At one time it represented how much gold or silver a nation had in its reserves (hence the term “Pound Sterling”). More recently, money represents an amount of value theoretically based on investment and effort. Over the past three years the abstract concept of “social currency” — the accumulation and expenditure of social standing or power — has at times become a literal expression.

It started with social  media rewards. Companies would grant a discount or special privilege like early admission on a sale day to people who would post about the shop or an event on social media. Since then, these exchanges have become progressively more systematic, more abstract, and more like an actual exchange of funds. Some examples:

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