It’s official: Elon Musk owns Twitter and will be taking it private. This means that big changes are approaching for the company, from definitely not cutting 75% of the platform’s staff, including former-CEO Parag Agrawal, to a possible overhaul of the censorship guidelines. But are we about to see a Twitter Token?
In text messages sent by Musk to every finance celebrity in the world and his brother Kimbal, he proposes the idea of a token:
“I have an idea for a blockchain social media system that does both payments and short messages/links like Twitter. You have to pay a tiny amount to register your message on the chain, which will cut out the vast majority of spam and bots. There is no throat to choke, so free speech is guaranteed.“
“The second piece of the puzzle is a massive real-time database that keeps a copy of all blockchain messages in memory…“
“I think a new social media company is needed that is based on a blockchain and includes payments.”
Kimbal Musk responds:
“I’d love to learn more. I’ve dug deep on Web3 (not crypto as much) and voting powers are amazing and verified. Lots you could do here for this as well.“
Basically, the answer to whether we’re destined to see a Twitter Token is… maybe. If Elon Musk has anything to do with the future of Twitter’s possible profitability and ad revenue, blockchain appears to be a very key piece of the puzzle.
A private social media company but on the blockchain
There are no guarantees here, and Musk hasn’t mentioned blockchain and Twitter publicly so this is undoubtedly speculation. But in his texts to Kimbal, he certainly sounds convinced of the viability of the blockchain and its promised strengths.
This, of course, doesn’t explain why he seems to need a fully centralized database to back up his decentralized blockchain or why the blockchain would be able to cut out all of the spam bots, but the spurious and optimistic beliefs are there.
Kimbal, who clearly doesn’t know much about the crypto industry makes enthusiastic claims like, “if you… used your own token, you would not needs [sic] advertising,” and, “with scale it will be a huge business purely for the benefit of users. i [sic] hate advertisements.”
While many companies remain on the fence about cryptocurrencies and tokenization, this would be the second social media company to recently re-embrace cryptocurrencies (Reddit introduced NFTs after briefly experimenting with bitcoin years ago) and would be seen as a huge win for the industry.
Meanwhile, Meta, which tried to build its own stablecoin from scratch but got caught up in legislative and legal wranglings, ultimately ending the attempt, reported earnings and saw its market cap fall roughly ~20%. The social media company is performing worse than bitcoin or MicroStrategy year-over-year.