11/4/2022 | DECRYPT
Are Elon Musk’s Crypto Plans for Twitter Changing?
Dogecoin fans banked on Twitter integration ahead, but a planned crypto wallet is reportedly “on pause” after Musk’s takeover.
- A planned crypto wallet is reportedly on hold at Twitter after Elon Musk’s takeover of the company.
- Musk previously teased Dogecoin integration into Twitter and told employees that crypto payments would be a priority.
Many in the crypto world rejoiced when Elon Musk took over Twitter last week, as the Dogecoin fanatic’s tweets and leaked texts pointed to deeper blockchain integration within the social media platform. DOGE even doubled in price in the days that followed. But crypto may not be as big of a priority for Musk’s Twitter as some hoped, based on new reporting.
On October 24, just prior to Musk’s acquisition of Twitter, noted tech leaker Jane Manchun Wong tweeted that the company was working on a “wallet prototype” that would support deposits and withdrawals of cryptocurrency. Wong is well-known for sharing reputable leaks from Twitter and other tech platforms that frequently have proven correct.
However, on Thursday night, tech journalist Casey Newton of Platformer reported that plans have changed under Musk’s leadership. Newton wrote that “a recently revealed plan to build a crypto wallet for Twitter appears to be on pause.”
Twitter did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Decrypt. The price of DOGE fell sharply following last night’s report—about 10% in the matter of a few hours—but has mostly recovered since. At a current price of $0.128, it’s still up 115% over the last 14 days.
DOGE had rallied not only because of Musk’s long-shared love for the leading meme coin, although tweets from the self-proclaimed “Dogefather” often had a clear impact on the market price.
He had also teased intentions to integrate Dogecoin as a payment option on Twitter, similar to how Musk’s Tesla and The Boring Company accept DOGE payments to some extent. In a leaked transcript from a Q&A with Twitter employees in June, Musk further pointed to crypto payments as a key focus ahead.
Elon Musk had also flirted with ways to create a blockchain-driven social media platform to replace Twitter, as revealed through leaked texts with his brother, Kimbal. The now-CEO of Twitter proposed a platform in April that required tiny DOGE payments to post, but then flip-flopped days later and said that “blockchain Twitter isn’t possible.”
Meanwhile, leaked texts between Musk and Twitter co-founder and former CEO Jack Dorsey—a noted Bitcoin maximalist and co-founder and current CEO of Block (formerly Square, Inc.)—revealed that Dorsey pushed Musk to turn Twitter into a decentralized protocol. Musk appeared receptive to Dorsey’s suggestions.
If Musk really does want to integrate crypto payments within Twitter, then a wallet would live at the heart of that initiative. But if that plan truly is “on pause” for now, then deeper integration of crypto into Twitter may not be on the near-term roadmap after all.
The news comes at a time of dramatic change for Twitter following Musk’s purchase. Not only were top company executives quickly ousted, but Twitter began what appear to be widespread layoffs Thursday night, with reports that Musk plans to eliminate about half of the 7,500 strong workforce at the company.
Twitter has also been abuzz this week with discussion over Musk’s plan to make account verification available widely via a monthly fee through a revamped Twitter Blue subscription. The new plan will reportedly take effect on Monday, November 7, and cost $8 per month for users.
Currently, users who meet certain criteria—including public figures, journalists, and government officials—can be verified for free. However, most of those users will reportedly lose their verification (and associated blue checkmark) within 90 days of the launch of the new model. The proposed plan has generated significant backlash and controversy from users.
Whether Musk’s Twitter makes crypto a priority remains to be seen, but at least one of the major backers behind the deal is pushing for it. Crypto exchange Binance put $500 million into the $44 billion purchase, with hopes to help Twitter embrace Web3. Binance CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao has pushed his Binance Pay platform as an option for Twitter payments.
And if Twitter ultimately doesn’t pursue that path—or doesn’t do so soon—then perhaps Musk’s more crypto-focused supporters will move to one of the many decentralized and crypto-friendly social media platforms on the rise lately.