Twitter Forms Team to Shape the Future of Decentralized Social Media

The new unit, Twitter Crypto, will explore how the company can support the growing interest among creators to use decentralized apps.

article-image

Blockworks exclusive art by Axel Rangel

share

key takeaways

  • Tess Rinearson, former vice president of engineering at Interchain GmbH, to lead the unit
  • Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey had previously labeled crypto as one of three major trends most relevant to the social media company and its shareholders

Twitter is forming a team focused on crypto, blockchains, and other decentralized technologies after the social media company’s CEO, Jack Dorsey, has said the cryptocurrency would be a significant part of Twitter’s growth.  

Tess Rinearson announced on the platform that she would be joining the company to lead the unit. She most recently worked as vice president of engineering at Interchain GmbH, a company responsible for stewarding infrastructure for blockchain ecosystems, according to her LinkedIn profile. Specifically, Interchain maintains core components of the Cosmos ecosystem: Tendermint, IBC and the Cosmos Hub.

Rinearson also serves as a board member for the Mina Foundation, the non-profit steward of the Mina Protocol, as well as a council member for the Switzerland-based Interchain Foundation, which distributed Cosmos’ ATOM tokens.

Loading Tweet..

“As I build out the team, we’ll be working to figure out what crypto can do for Twitter, as well as what Twitter can do for crypto,” Rinearson explained in a Twitter post Wednesday morning.

“Twitter truly ‘gets’ crypto (hello bitcoin tipping & NFTs!) but there’s so much more to explore here.”

The company announced its intention to launch its tipping feature, called Tips, in September. It allows users to send bitcoin to people through the Lightning network, a layer-2 payment protocol known for its low transaction fees.

The new team will first explore how the company can support the growing interest among creators to use decentralized apps to manage virtual good and currencies, Rinearson explained in a Twitter thread. Longer-term focuses include looking into how ideas from crypto communities can help Twitter “push the boundaries” related to identity, community and ownership. 

Twitter will also work closely with the bluesky team to help shape the future of decentralized social media. Dorsey had announced in December 2019 that Twitter was funding a small independent team of up to five open-source architects, engineers, and designers, known as bluesky, to develop “an open and decentralized standard for social media.” He tapped developer Jay Graber in August to lead the bluesky initiative.

“Twitter Crypto will underpin all of this work, and serve as a ‘center of excellence’ for all things blockchain at Twitter,” Rinearson added in a separate tweet Tuesday, noting that the team would be looking to fill roles in engineering and product.

The formation of the crypto team follows Dorsey labeling bitcoin as one of three major trends most relevant to the social media company and its shareholders during the company’s earnings call in July.

“I think this is a big part of our future,” Dorsey said of utilizing bitcoin at the time. “There’s a lot of innovation above just currency to be had, especially as we think about decentralizing social media more and providing more economic incentive, so I think it’s hugely important to Twitter and to Twitter shareholders that we continue to look at the space and invest aggressively in it.”


Get the day’s top crypto news and insights delivered to your inbox every evening. Subscribe to Blockworks’ free newsletter now.


Tags

Upcoming Events

Hilton Metropole | 225 Edgware Rd, London

Mon - Wed, March 18 - 20, 2024

Crypto’s premier institutional conference returns to London in March 2024. The DAS: London Experience: Attend expert-led panel discussions and fireside chats Hear the latest developments regarding the crypto and digital asset regulatory environment directly from policymakers and experts.

Salt Lake City, UT

WED - FRI, OCTOBER 9 - 11, 2024

Pack your bags, anon — we’re heading west! Join us in the beautiful Salt Lake City for the third installment of Permissionless. Come for the alpha, stay for the fresh air. Permissionless III promises unforgettable panels, killer networking opportunities, and mountains […]

recent research

Research report - cover graphics (1).jpg

Research

In this report, we dive into crypto private market data to gather insights on where the future of the industry is headed. Despite a notable downturn in private raises, capital continues to infuse promising projects that aim to transform payments, banking, consumer experiences, community, and more, with 2023 being the fourth-largest year for crypto venture capital.

article-image

Revolut said that the standalone crypto exchange is currently “invite only”

article-image

The stock price jump comes after Coinbase reported ending its seven-quarter run of net losses during the fourth quarter

article-image

BUZZ holds shares of Coinbase, Robinhood and MicroStrategy

article-image

Opinion: Even though I didn’t pay for my “Diamond Hands” burger with BTC, don’t let that fool you into thinking that crypto’s development is futile

article-image

The results mark “a major positive inflection point,” one analyst says, as the exchange carries net income momentum into a crypto rally

article-image

While the slate of 10 US spot bitcoin funds have tallied $4.6 billion of net inflows thus far, half of the field is lagging the leaders