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How Elon Musk could put more crypto on Twitter after taking charge

After months of dramatic back-and-forth, Elon Musk has taken over Twitter Inc., sparking emotions ranging from hope to anxiety among users as they prepare for how the billionaire will put his stamp on the social media platform. Crypto Twitter is no exception.

Digital asset enthusiasts have long congregated on Twitter, where they changed their profile pictures to images of themselves with “laser eyes” as a signal from their crypto backer, posted irreverent memes on the rise (and then fall) in coin prices and re-tweeted threads from their favorite founders.

Musk, a prolific tweeter himself, has had a complicated relationship with crypto, seeming to embrace it one minute and downplay it the next. That hasn’t stopped industry proponents from imagining an expansion of Twitter’s blockchain capabilities under his leadership that would broaden mainstream adoption. Their elation likely helped spur interest in Dogecoin, Musk’s token of choice, which skyrocketed days before he finally closed the deal.

Twitter has made its own forays into crypto. Co-founder and former CEO Jack Dorsey is one of the best-known Bitcoin bulls in the industry, and under his leadership the company introduced a feature for users to receive Bitcoin tips, created a Twitter division Crypto and launched Bluesky, a project dedicated to building a decentralized social media network that is now an independent company. Since Dorsey’s departure last November, Twitter has added Ether tips, non-fungible token profile pictures, and USD stablecoin payouts for a select group of creators.

It’s unclear what will happen to these efforts under the leadership of Musk, who has been notoriously mercurial about crypto and could cleanse the platform’s digital asset team as other executives exit. high level. While the Tesla Inc. CEO touted Dogecoin enough on Twitter to earn the moniker “Dogefather,” he called the token a “hustle” when he hosted “Saturday Night Live” in May 2021. He also added the possibility of paying in Bitcoin. for Tesla’s electric vehicles in 2021, but ended the practice less than two months later, citing the environmental impact of the cryptocurrency.

In arranging the acquisition of Twitter, Musk appeared to waver on his commitment to crypto. Binance Holdings Ltd., the world’s largest digital asset exchange, committed $500 million in funding to Musk for the deal in May and is reportedly building a team to explore how the crypto could be useful to social media company. In a slew of text messages published as part of litigation over the Twitter deal, Musk first discussed using blockchain to promote free speech and reduce social media spam, to later writing that “Twitter blockchain is not possible”.

But if Musk decided to make crypto play a bigger role on Twitter, here are some ways to do it:

Twitter bots and spam are huge problems for Musk and helped spark a contentious legal battle that put his acquisition of the company in jeopardy. The issue is particularly prominent in the crypto arena, where spam accounts impersonate famous figures like Musk to promote scams involving fake crypto giveaways. But some digital asset enthusiasts believe that using blockchain could help reduce bots on Twitter. A blockchain-based identity verification tool or an NFT passport could be options to further Musk’s goal of wanting to “authenticate all real humans” on Twitter.

Freedom of speech is close to Musk’s heart and he intends to lift lifetime bans imposed on users by the company. These values ​​align with those of many crypto believers dedicated to the ethos of decentralization promoted by the blockchain. They believe that a single entity should not make major decisions on the management of a platform. While Musk could potentially implement a token-based voting system that allows users to have more of a say in what happens on Twitter, it’s important to note that his potential adoption of crypto is a double-edged sword. While adding more crypto elements to Twitter may expand the mainstream use of digital assets, it will further cement Musk’s influence over an industry that many want to be as decentralized as possible.

Musk has previously expressed ambitions to turn Twitter into a “super app” and spoke admirably of China’s WeChat platform, which can handle messaging, gaming, payments and video streaming. Along with other budding awesome app makers like Revolut Ltd. expanding into crypto, it would make sense for Musk’s vision to include digital assets as well. Allowing more cryptocurrencies for tipping could be a first step, with Dogecoin likely the best candidate given Musk’s love of the token.

Other mainstream social media platforms like Instagram dive deeper into NFTs. Although Musk has mocked these assets in the past, including Twitter’s decision to allow authenticated NFT profile pictures, he could introduce more NFT features, such as a marketplace or the ability for users to create a profile represented by an NFT that gives them greater ownership over their content – ​​a practice already implemented by the decentralized social media platform Lens Protocol. These measures could ensure that Twitter does not fall behind other social media giants in terms of crypto adoption.

While integrating these blockchain elements would be a complex and closely watched endeavor for Twitter, Musk’s new reign still opens the possibility for them to become a reality.