Despite a contentious corporate tug-of-war, the $44 billion deal finally closed nearly seven months after Tesla CEO Elon Musk made his initial tender offer to buy social media giant Twitter. Crypto enthusiasts have already started to speculate on the future of Twitter now that it is in the hands of the billionaire tech entrepreneur as a platform for news and announcements, marketing, and developer-user communication in the blockchain space.
Recognizing cryptocurrency payments would be the first component he wants to see implemented by Twitter. The CEO of cryptocurrency exchange Binance, Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, stated this week at the annual Web Summit in Lisbon. CZ cited backing for free speech and the platform’s prospects for monetization as the primary reasons the exchange chose to take a role in the deal, and Binance invested $500 million into the acquisition.
“The first step is to accept crypto. For the $8 verification to be paid in fiat, one has to integrate 200-plus payment processors because Twitter has users worldwide. But if you use crypto, you add it, and then you’re done.”
Expecting to use a tool created by someone else for nothing is not a free market, claims CZ. Consider all free social and chat tools. US Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez started discussing whether users should be required to sign up for a subscription plan to express their opinions on Twitter.
Sam Bankman-Fried, the creator of the cryptocurrency exchange FTX, and Hayden Adams, the co-founder of the decentralized exchange Uniswap, appeared to be more concerned with the platform’s centralized design. “The unnecessary restriction that it remains centralized to one company makes Twitter spam difficult.
According to Adams, the issue could be solved by opening up the APIs and allowing developers to build on top. Bankman-Fried.
He continued, “If only there were some kind of decentralized API-like layer that multiple companies could interface with permissionless and transmit information between people and people in real-time across the globe.”
Bankman-Fried revealed on November 3 that FTX had given the Twitter deal some thought but ultimately decided against it because “it didn’t seem like our strengths were what was needed for Elon’s vision for Twitter.” The FTX CEO previously stated in a thread that “Twitter needed a revamping of leadership, so Elon did that” and that the FTX team occasionally prefers to serve as advisors to an organization or vision rather than to become a part of it.
Vitalik Buterin, the co-founder of Ethereum, also participated in the conversation and voiced concerns about how a flat subscription fee might affect Twitter Blue’s anti-spam features on the platform. “Pay $8/month and use any fictitious name that would undermine the blue check’s anti-scam function. But the outcome would be very different if there was more substantial actual verification, he wrote. Buterin continued, “Ideally, though, verification would be charged at cost and separate from other premium services,” adding that the Twitter Blue verification system before the acquisition was much more exclusive than a $20 per month subscription proposal.
Buterin argued for adding more centralized yet controlled features to the platform, much like Adams and Bankman-Fried. He said that mechanisms like zero-knowledge identity checks and tabulating account quality scores could potentially help reduce anonymous scams in such a setup, writing, “Ideal solution: social network-based localized trust instead of global scores.” Two days after Musk completed the acquisition and took sole directorial control of the business, changes to Twitter Blue are currently being made.