What does the entrepreneur’s latest acquisition mean for crypto
Elon Musks’ $44 billion acquisition of Twitter has tongues wagging in the Web3 space as advocates ponder what the purchase could mean for a platform that’s so native to the crypto community. After initially snubbing the Tesla founder’s offer last week, the board agreed unanimously to sell Twitter to Elon Musk, who plans to take the company private.
In this article, we will look at some events before and after Elon’s purchase of Twitter to see what they could tell us about his intentions for a platform that boasts 229 million daily active users.
Moreover, after initially banning crypto advertising and chat in early 2018, Twitter did a complete U-turn and became the first central platform to pioneer NFT avatars as profile pictures and has arguably become the home of crypto natives. Meanwhile, some of Musk’s non-crypto plans include making its algorithm open-source, adding an edit button, and letting users post longer tweets. Will the shift towards becoming a Web3 hub continue? Or does Elon have other plans? Let’s dive in.
NFT profile image verification
As mentioned above, Twitter’s recent crypto integrations include NFT profile image verification and BTC tips for creators. A move that acknowledges that many of the famous voices in crypto use Twitter every day. NFT verification was rolled out in January 2021, making Twitter the first major social platform to incorporate NFTs. Ironically, when the feature debuted, Elon took to Twitter to call it annoying. While the BTC tipping feature, powered by Bitcoin’s low-fee Lightning Network, is currently available to users in the U.S. and El Salvador only.
While the Tweet is cryptic, it does show that Elon is an expert in using Twitter for his gains. Stating something is annoying can mean you are indifferent, jealous, or simply using the statement as a way to grab attention when the world is talking. Elon further said, “Twitter is spending engineering resources on this bs while crypto scammers are throwing a spambot block party in every thread!?”
More positive PR for Elon as he outlines how he would deal with further crypto integration and priority setting. While his comments are not incorrect, they are also not going to provide any quick fixes to the most significant issue in crypto right now. However, Elon’s Twitter clout started moving in the right direction by playing the good samaritan at a pivotal moment.
Moreover, the move from Twitter to allow verified NFT profile images was widely welcomed in the NFT and crypto world. It allowed collectors, celebrities, and influencersto show their prized NFTs off to the world and gain some actual utility. Further adding to the idea that successful NFT collections build strong cliques around themselves that give holders unique benefits.
USDC payments on Twitter
Just a few days before the sale of Twitter to Musk, the social media giant announced that USDC stablecoin payments would be accepted for the platform’s content creators in partnership with payment processor Stripe. The move will allow Twitter users to get paid for Super Follows and Ticketed Spaces in USDC, a cryptocurrency stablecoin pegged to the US dollar.
Even more interesting is that payouts will happen via the Polygon network, which users can connect to using wallet services, including MetaMask. Using USDC, Twitter can effectively lower one of the many barriers to global commerce. Using a US dollar-backed currency lets Twitter pay contributors in over 70 countries in a currency that doesn’t fluctuate wildly and can be redeemed easily for fiat currency.
This news is perhaps the most unambiguous indication that Twitter has plans to build a Web3 hub that will reward contributors in cryptocurrencies—widening the adoption of stablecoins as a means of global trade and settlement. Conspiracy theorists out there would be forgiven for thinking this move was conveniently timed. That while the world waited on the result of Elon’s takeover bid, Twitter insiders knew all along and were quietly laying more Web3 inclusive foundations.
DOGE payments on Twitter
Earlier in April, Musk said he wanted to see Twitter Blue, the company’s subscription service, come with the option for users to pay in DOGE. Then, after news broke that Musk and Twitter had reached an agreement, DOGE swelled more than 20%.
What does Jack Dorsey think?
Co-founder and former CEO of Twitter Jack Dorsey appears to fully support Musk’s takeover and said in a series of tweets he praised Musk for “taking Twitter back from Wall Street,” going further to call him the “single solution I trust.”
Pretty conclusive, although this writer is a bit unsure how Elon Musk has ‘taken Twitter back from Wall Street’ when Musk assembled the $46.5 billion to fund his Twitter takeover with his assets backing two-thirds of that figure. His portion includes a giant $12.5 billion margin loan secured by his equity stake in Tesla Inc. At the same time, the remainder comes from bank financing secured by Twitter’s assets, which is a traditional leveraged buyout arrangement.
Why Twitter and Web3 fans should pay attention
As Musk puts it, Twitter is the town square of the internet, and he already has a pretty big megaphone to address the population. Musk has more than 83 million followers on the platform and remains a prolific tweeter. He has tweeted his enthusiasm for Dogecoin, offended his foes, shared hilarious memes, inadvertently pumped crypto tokens, and engaged in culture wars while blending in news and updates on his business ventures.
Musk has openly stated he wants to make Twitter better by adding new features, making the algorithms open-source, fending off the armies of spambots, and authenticating all humans on the platform. All these moves signal Twitter embracing the Web3 ethos with open arms. This deal feels like Elon saying to Twitter, “I like what you did here. It’s cool, but now let me make it better.”
Overall, it’s safe to say the Tesla boss’ takeover of Twitter has many in the crypto-verse feeling optimistic. His commitment to making the Twitter algorithm open-source aligns with Web3’s vision of a decentralized internet that gives control of data back to users. Furthermore, because he’s a crypto admirer and a big Twitter user, Musk is very aware of crypto Twitter’s most annoying issue – bots.
Musk is not the first billionaire entrepreneur to try and turn their wealth into media influence. Marc Andreessen founded Clubhouse (remember Clubhouse?), Jeff Bezos bought The Washington Post, and Peter Thiel shut down Gawker.com. While being arguably the most high profile in the gang, Musk appears to be following paths already walked.
One thing is clear, Elon Musk’s Twitter obsession is good for business. On April 29, Twitter posted quarterly earnings of $513 million, further adding that revenue rose 16% to $1.2 billion in the three months to March 2022 and that users were up by 16% from last year to 229 million daily active users.
The above does not constitute investment advice. The information given here is purely for informational purposes only. Please exercise due diligence and do your research. The writer holds positions in various cryptocurrencies, including BTC, ETH, and RADAR.