Elon Musk Finally Takes Over Twitter: How Will This Impact Crypto?
Let's take a look at what's changed since Musk acquired Twitter and the potential implications it will have on existing Web3 communities on the platform.
So, Elon Musk now officially owns Twitter
On October 27th, Tesla CEO and billionaire Elon Musk finally completed his $44 billion purchase of the social media giant Twitter. While the move has been met with a few criticisms, many at large view the acquisition as a positive development for Web3. This is especially so as the billionaire has always been vocal about fighting spam bots and integrating crypto payments into the platform.
How the Twitter deal came about
Initially announced in April, the Twitter acquisition was not all rosy, as it hit multiple roadblocks along the way. At one point, the social media company even adopted a "poison pill" to protect itself from the second-biggest shareholder's billion-dollar buyout offer.
Things were going back and forth until Musk threatened to pull out from the deal over claims that Twitter wasn't transparent about the number of bots using the platform. As a result, the Twitter board at the time lashed out and filed a lawsuit against him in a bid to close the transaction.
With that, it didn't take too long for the business mogul to change his mind. Earlier this month, Musk proposed moving forward with the purchase at the original price of $44 billion, or $54.20 per share. The deal - finalized on October 27th - saw the company going private as shares of Twitter were suspended from trading after Thursday's close at $53.70.
On the same day, Musk posted a video of him walking into Twitter headquarters with a sink. The video was captioned: "Entering Twitter HQ – let that sink in!" The SpaceX boss has since tweeted an open letter to share his motivation behind the acquisition and retweeted photos of him meeting employees at the Twitter HQ coffee bar.
Following his takeover, Musk went on to fire Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal and CFO Ned Segal, according to CNBC, citing people familiar with the matter. Even so, DOGE, the wildly popular meme coin associated with the billionaire, has rallied more than 79% since Thursday's open at $0.07265. The token is currently trading at around $0.13050, according to TradingView.
The billionaire's crypto plans for Twitter
Now that the Twitter acquisition is done and dusted, many are looking forward to what radical changes the new Chief Twit will bring to Twitter. After all, Musk has always been a strong proponent of cryptocurrency and freedom of speech which aligns with Web3 ethos that emphasizes the importance of identity, ownership, and community in the space.
A day after his takeover, the platform introduced "NFT Tweet Tiles", a new blockchain feature under development that allows users to buy and sell non-fungible tokens (NFTs) through Twitter. In essence, NFT Tweet Tiles will showcase NFT images via tweets with details, including the artwork title, creator name, and an option to view the digital collectibles on marketplaces. Rarible, Magic Eden, Dapper Labs, and Jump Trade are the participating NFT marketplaces in this initiative. Given Musk's long-time hate for digital JPEGs, the Tweet Tiles feature certainly comes as a surprise to many NFT enthusiasts.
Besides that, the Tesla boss is reportedly working to promote freedom of speech on one of the biggest social media platforms in the world. According to Musk, that doesn't mean Twitter will become a "free-for-all hellscape", as content moderation still needs to be in place, and freedom of speech should always adhere to the "laws of the land".
To kick things off, the new Chief Twit announced yesterday that Twitter would form a content moderation council of members with widely diverse viewpoints. He added that no major content moderation policy changes would occur before the panel convenes.
The SpaceX boss also discussed plans to introduce fiat currency and cryptocurrency payment features into Twitter. While details are scant, the charismatic billionaire suggested that payments would help "maximize the usefulness of the service", making the platform "so compelling that you can't live without it". Of course, with his ongoing love affair with Dogecoin, it wouldn't be surprising if Twitter eventually enabled payments in DOGE.
Just so you know, Twitter added bitcoin tipping in 2021 under ex-CEO Jack Dorsey before adding ether wallets to the feature earlier this year. The company also became the first to try out a new program by payments processor, Stripe, which announced a USDC payment feature via Polygon in April.
Apart from a new payment feature, let's not forget about bots elimination - one of the biggest priorities that Musk has promised to work on after buying Twitter. The social media platform is currently infested with bots, which often trick crypto and NFT users into clicking malicious links. Even Twitter's "blue check" mark is not helping, as a number of accounts have been able to impersonate verified users such as Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin, Binance CEO Changpeng "CZ" Zhao, and Tesla CEO Elon Musk himself. In fact, Musk was also one of the high-profile Twitter accounts hacked in a massive Bitcoin-related scam in 2020.
With that in mind, the billionaire proposed making Twitter's anti-bot algorithms open to public review in June. There are also plans in place to add an optional paid-tier service for people to prove their authenticity - similar to the Sybil-resistant mechanism in crypto. Speaking of which, a new promising type of NFT called soulbound tokens is reportedly geared toward such an application. However, Musk hasn't shown much interest in integrating such technology with Twitter so far. The possibilities are endless, for sure. Though it remains unclear how Musk will carry out his crusade against bots, with details yet to be ironed out.
On the whole, Musk's $44 billion takeover of Twitter is being hailed by many as a win for the Web3 community. With so many crypto and NFT proponents showing high hopes for what's to come from the new Chief Twit, it remains to be seen if Musk will live up to his promises to make Twitter a safer and more enjoyable experience not just for the crypto-savvy users, but also for the general public at large.