Mark Zuckerberg’s Net Worth Down $71B This Year as ‘Metaverse Tax’ Hits Home

Mark Zuckerberg’s net worth is down $71 billion this year as the short-term economic effects of his gamble on the metaverse surface.
Image source: The Verge

Quick take:

  • Mark Zuckerberg’s massive bet on the metaverse is beginning to have a significant impact on his wealth.
  • According to Bloomberg, the Meta Platforms CEO’s net worth is down $71 billion since the beginning of the year.
  • Zuckerberg is now down to 20th on the billionaires list down from sixth in January based on the latest Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

Mark Zuckerberg’s net worth plummeted by a whopping $71 billion in 2022. The Meta Platforms founder’s massive bet on the metaverse seems to be coming back to haunt him with his wealth suffering more than his tech peers’ from the current market downturn.

The billionaire social media magnate has now slipped to the 20th spot on the list of the world’s richest people, according to Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Zuckerberg ranked sixth in January.

The billionaire entrepreneur’s net worth stands at $55.9 billion, down from $126.9 just over eight months ago. The Facebook founder’s wealth peaked at $142 billion in September last year, before plummeting to the current levels.

Zuckerberg’s net worth has been on a downhill since his company Facebook rebranded to Meta in October last year, the corporate name that also houses Instagram, Facebook Messenger Oculus VR, and Whats App, among others smaller companies.

Zuckerberg has been at the forefront of the campaign championing the adoption of the metaverse since October last year. His commitment to pursuing opportunities in this burgeoning industry has contributed to the rapid growth of the market. But not without challenges.

Zuckerberg revealed in February this year while announcing the fiscal fourth quarter and full year 2022 results that Facebook struggled to add to its monthly active users.

The company also announced a significant decline in the net income due to its $10 billion bet on the metaverse. Since then, the stock price has plummeted to the current level of about $148 per share down from $323.00.

Source: Google

In May, Zuckerberg told shareholders that they should expect more cash burn as the company continues to invest in the metaverse. The Meta Platforms stock is down 56.23% this year, with Zuckerberg’s wealth suffering the full effect of that decline.

Although he seems to be making progress on the NFT front after rolling NFTs globally for Instagram and Facebook users, his primary product, the metaverse is far from enjoying similar success.

Last month, Meta’s leading metaverse product Horizon Worlds was ridiculed online for having basic graphics. In July, the Federal Trade Commission sued Meta to block its acquisition of virtual reality company Within amid fears it will make the Facebook parent too powerful in a burgeoning industry.

Earlier in August, Vitalik Buterin predicted Meta’s gung-ho approach to the metaverse will likely “misfire” because the company does not know what the people want.

Nearly all of Mark Zuckerberg’s wealth is tied to Meta. According to a recent proxy statement, Zuckerberg holds 350 million shares of Meta, valued at about $51.86 billion ($148.19 per share) as of this writing.

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