Hey, Elon, forget about Disney. Save X by launching your own crypto.

Musk’s hesitation to launch his own crypto made sense in previous cycles. But there’s no shame left around here — he should just go for it

OPINION
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Frederic Legrand – COMEO/Shutterstock modified by Blockworks

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Elon Musk is going through it. Crypto might just be the answer.

First, he paid way too much to take Twitter private last year. Now, he’s mugging off the biggest companies in the world — specifically Disney and CEO Bob Iger — for pulling advertising from X after Musk’s comments about Israel and Palestine and concerns about pro-Nazi content.

X, formerly known as Twitter, will go bankrupt over a sustained advertising boycott, the world’s richest man told New York Times DealBook’s Aaron Sorkin at an event overnight. 

“You’re going to blackmail me with advertising money? Go fuck youself,” Musk said.

Okay, Elon Musk, you’ve previously said that X would never launch its own token. And you’ve already dabbled in bitcoin, dogecoin and ether — with Tesla still owning 9,720 BTC ($337 million) as of October.

But if the goal is to pay off your financiers and plug a measly $75 million hole in your advertising revenue, there’s no faster solution than crypto.

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Joel Berry is the managing editor of the Babylon Bee, a satirical outlet previously banned from Twitter

Musk was already Twitter’s biggest shareholder when he first offered to buy Twitter in April 2022 for $44 billion. At $54.20 per share, Musk told the SEC his bid represented a 54% premium on the stock’s valuation before he’d bought his first shares.

Despite initially fighting to renege — on grounds that Twitter hadn’t proved its claim that 95% of daily active users were actual humans and not bots — Musk eventually was forced to follow through as his offer was legally binding.

A raft of executives were immediately fired, including CEO Parag Agrawal, who took over from founder Jack Dorsey in 2021, and Chief Financial Officer Ned Segal, who’d been at the company since 2017. 

Musk later said he had cut 80% of Twitter staff after the buyout, upwards of 6,000 skulls.

A massively reduced headcount has not been enough to counteract advertiser exodus. Musk’s buyout was confirmed in October and reports indicated Twitter revenues had sunk 40% by December. 

Meanwhile, Twitter had unbanned a cavalcade of agent provocateurs including Andrew Tate, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Jordan Peterson, Kanye West and Donald Trump (although the latter has so far snubbed the platform in favor of his own Truth Social).

Apple, IBM, Paramount, Airbnb, Warner Bros. and Comcast — alongside Disney — have since reportedly pulled ads and Twitter, now X, is bleeding cash. The New York Times estimated Twitter could stand to lose $75 million in ad revenue by the end of the year, with more brands expected to leave after Musk’s DealBook appearance.

But there’s X’s heavy debt load. Musk borrowed $13 billion with the help of Morgan Stanley, a loan collateralized by Tesla stock (of which Musk owns $100 billion). 

One estimate suggested Musk’s financiers would’ve made between 1% and 3% on the value of the $44 billion deal. X would owe Morgan Stanley up to $1.3 billion if that’s true (although there’s some argument to be made that Musk now has the upper hand against the banks due to rising interest rates).

Read more from our opinion section: Let Michael Saylor cook

There’s also the suite of equity co-investors that Musk now has to appease, including former CEO Dorsey, Oracle chief executive Larry Ellison, embattled crypto exchange Binance and Prince Al Waleed of Saudi Arabia, among others, who together reportedly contributed more than $8 billion. Musk even borrowed $1 billion from his other company, SpaceX.

All this is, apparently, enough to make a man curse at Disney billionaires. But I’m here to tell Musk there’s another way: Launch your own cryptocurrency.

Projects have found great success in launching tokens over the past 18 months. Arbitrum (ARB), Optimism (OP) and Celestia (TIA) are all now valued at more than $1 billion with a tiny fraction of the 300 million-plus monetizable users on X.

Even BLUR, the governance token for the NFT marketplace of the same name, is worth more than half-a-billion, even though the platform has only 50,000 active weekly traders. 

Hell, a one-way bridge to a network that doesn’t yet exist has now attracted more than $600 million with nothing but a website and a plan.

An X cryptocurrency could do all sorts of things: Membership and perks through Twitter Blue, tipping or even betting on sports events live-streamed directly on the app. 

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Would launching an X cryptocurrency really be cringier than this?

X could even pay creators their cut of advertising revenue in the token, saving the company real US dollars it needs to pay back its backers.

I could probably understand the hesitancy to mint a cryptocurrency in cycles past. Selling a token seemed cheap in 2018 and 2019 — even cheaper than peddling dogecoin — but cycles of influencer NFT drops and DAO launches have since freed crypto of all its shame. 

Dragging your feet any longer makes little sense. You’re already on record stating you have no respect for the SEC, which means you’ll fit in perfectly round here.

And besides, what better way to stick it to the SEC, who, coincidentally has a bonafide bone to pick with crypto? 

Go on, use crypto for its number-one use case: Attracting pseudonymous liquidity with few questions asked. At this point, there’s nothing left to lose.



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