Twitter ‘X’ rebrand spurs hype around potential crypto integration — again

There’s renewed optimism that crypto could soon be further integrated with Twitter, but would it even matter?

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Frederic Legrand – COMEO/Shutterstock modified by Blockworks

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Twitter rebranding to “X” has fueled fresh speculation about CEO Elon Musk integrating payments directly with the platform, including crypto options.

Musk, whose $44 billion buyout stirred crypto proponents last year, is betting his vision for an “everything app” can lighten the now-private company’s estimated $13 billion debt, despite a reported 59% cut in US ad revenue.

During his first all-hands meeting in June, Musk said the idea of bringing payments directly onto the platform would “make sense.”

Potential revenue from digital payments have been touted as one possibility to alleviate X’s financials. 

The idea would be to bring users under one roof and keep them there, reminiscent of China’s massively popular WeChat. By offering everything from messaging, online shopping, banking, search and more, users agree to forgo sensitive financial and personal data points for the sake of convenience.

Various implementations of the “one app to rule them all” are already in use in Asia, Africa and Latin America.

All hinge, in one form or another, on a customer’s ability to seamlessly pay for goods and services without needing to exit a given ecosystem.

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Musk was reportedly cast out of the proto-PayPal after pushing an “X” rebrand back in 2000

Does crypto fit into Musk’s vision for Twitter? 

Musk is famously a fan of dogecoin (DOGE) and his electric vehicle giant Tesla holds bitcoin (BTC). 

Twitter even briefly replaced Twitter’s iconic bird in April with the DOGE logo and, more recently, a text version of the symbol appeared in Musk’s bio earlier this week — inspiring a brief 10% rally.

“I think odds are high that a lot of digital assets will be supported,” Nick Cote, co-founder of on-chain middleware provider Molecule Protocol told Blockworks. “I’d wager we’ll see some clarification on the requirements for which assets are supported in the future.”

But crypto is already somewhat integrated with the platform. In September 2021, Twitter began allowing opted-in users to tip others with BTC and ether (ETH), however it’s unclear to what extent the functionality has been utilized. 

Users, since last January, have also been able to unlock special NFT-fused hexagon profile pictures after proving ownership of digital avatars via their Ethereum wallets. “Tweet Tiles” followed months later, which allow for easy viewing of tweeted crypto collectibles.

Cote pointed to an emerging trend being observed with bots on Telegram, which facilitate crypto trading right from the app interface. The rebranded Twitter could do the same thing, reducing the platform’s reliance on an ad-based revenue model which “most social networks rely on.” 

(Twitter has expanded its “cash tags” to include more information about cryptocurrencies over the past year, including redirects to offsite trading platforms.)

Twitter renews focus on creators

As of this month, popular Twitter accounts have received payments as part of a new revenue-sharing program

Those accounts include the likes of Billy Markus, a Dogecoin co-founder with 2.1 million followers. Markus said he raked in more than $37,000.

The hope is that by distributing revenue to creators, Twitter/X will be able to retain the platform’s most influential personalities against the temptations of other platforms including Instagram’s new Threads app — a direct competitor.

Some say Twitter could accept DOGE and other cryptocurrencies for ad spend, which would add a certain degree of real-world utility for the coin. Mark Cuban, another celebrity billionaire Dogecoin fan, pushed to accept the cryptocurrency through his Dallas Mavericks for tickets and merchandise during the 2021 bull market.

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“I wouldn’t rule out DOGE potentially being accepted by the rebranded Twitter,” Sylvia To, research lead at crypto exchange Bullish told Blockworks. “I think it’s important to realize there is still a meme culture element to social media in the sense that the two are very much complementary.”

Still, it’s worth asking why anyone would use DOGE or other such cryptocurrencies for payments when they could leverage dozens of other options. Some of which may possess superior attributes, Molecule’s Cote said.

“Cool for the niche DOGE community, but does the world care and most importantly, will they use it vs. the options they have now? My guess is probably not,” he said.


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