What could it mean for crypto as Elon Musk takes over Twitter?
Although Elon Musk’s $44 billion acquisition of Twitter concluded less than a week ago, several prospective changes are already being discussed, including the revival of the cherished short-form video tool Vine and the imposition of a monthly subscription to keep blue-checkmark status (Stephen King is not a fan of that idea). And as Musk mulls over methods to boost Twitter’s earnings, several of the industry’s leading figures, like Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao, Andreessen Horowtiz partner Sriram Krishnan, and influential investor David Sacks, are listening to him. Moreover, Musk’s leadership has the cryptocurrency industry interested in Twitter’s potential as a web3 platform because it is already one of the most crypto-forward social media sites. So let’s examine it more closely.
With NFT efforts and cryptocurrency “tipping,” Twitter has already established itself as a major social platform for the cryptocurrency community.
- Since 2020, Twitter has received well over 1 billion tweets about cryptocurrencies, according to the firm. Leading themes include Bitcoin, Ethereum, NFTs, and Dogecoin (Musk’s preferred meme coin, which has increased by over 100% in response to the takeover announcement).
- In collaboration with online marketplaces like Rarible, Dapper Labs, and Magic Eden, the business unveiled “NFT Tweet Tiles,” a new tool that would let users purchase and sell NFTs using tweets. NFT verification was made available by Twitter in January, giving users the option to show their NFTs as hexagonally cropped profile images with on-chain data.
- In April, Twitter also experimented with payments using blockchain technology. Twitter enables producers in more than 70 countries to get paid in USDC stablecoins for their Super Follows or for their paid Twitter Spaces through a partnership with the payment processor Stripe. In the United States and El Salvador, platform users can “tip” their preferred producers using Bitcoin.
What ambitions does Elon have for Twitter, then?
- Musk said on Twitter on Tuesday that he would like to charge users $8 per month for verification, which would give them access to some publishers’ opt-in paywalls as well as prioritized placement in replies and searches, fewer advertisements, and priority placement replies.
- He expressed his opinion that crypto payments on Twitter would assist in “maximizing the usefulness” of the site during his first all-hands meeting there next to company employees during the summer. Musk has also expressed interest in adopting Dogecoin as a recognized payment option.
- Changpeng Zhao of Binance contributed $500 million to Musk’s bid to acquire Twitter to “bring Twitter into web3 when they’re ready.” Zhao suggested that “membership fees might be charged. Using cryptocurrency is incredibly simple to achieve on a worldwide scale.
- Additionally, he claimed that Musk frequently spoke of his intentions to develop a “super app” that would compete with China’s WeChat, a messaging, financial, and social networking platform with 1.3 billion users. Given that Twitter’s user base is mainly concentrated in the United States, accepting payments in accepted cryptocurrencies could increase Twitter’s attractiveness on a global scale.
The reason why… Other web2 giants are doubling in on blockchain and cryptocurrency technology in addition to Elon Musk’s Twitter. Recently, NFT projects were introduced on Reddit, Instagram, and Facebook (with varying degrees of success.) Additionally, the creators of Aave, a well-known DeFi exchange, also developed Lens Protocol, a decentralized social media network built on Polygon’s blockchain, where users can build NFT-based accounts that “contain the history of any posts, mirrors, remarks, and other information you generate.” So we can be sure that Twitter will be the source of the breaking news, regardless of whatever platforms ultimately take the lead in driving crypto innovation.