Elon Musk’s $44-billion deal to buy Twitter concluded on Oct. 27, 2022, as the Tesla and SpaceX CEO officially took control of the social media platform.
The deal may have a broader implication on the crypto ecosystem, especially given that Binance, the largest crypto exchange, contributed $500 million to the sale, giving the company a 1.1% stake in Twitter.
Although a minority share, the question still paves the way for questions surrounding integrating crypto and Web3 applications into social media. What will the impact be?
Several concerns have been raised over the potential manipulation of the crypto markets.
Specifically, when considering the potential, preferred integration of Dogecoin, given it is no surprise that it’s a favorite of the Tesla billionaire and the top meme coins in the market.
In the wake of Musk’s tweet, speculation abounds that Doge will become Twitter’s primary currency.
According to a graph at CoinGeko, DOGE has jumped more than 159% after Musk’s tweet on November 14, adding to the concerns. This has been somewhat overshadowed by the financial condition of all popular altcoins following the FTX fallout sale to Binance.
Zhao says the impact is small
However, speaking at a Web Summit press conference, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao emphasized his commitment to transparency and the transparency of the blockchain.
“Twitter enabling which coins to accept for payments will have some impact compared to a coin listed on Binance today. I think that impact is smaller,” he explained.
“Today, we already deal with that problem very heavily in Binance, we choose which currency we list, and a small team in Binance will know about it. The project team may get some ideas that were interested in it because we ask them technical questions surrounding wallet integration stuff like that, but there have been very few problems so far. We have a very strict policy, and we monitor carefully and very publically. We also get community reports if there’s an address that bought a lot of coins the day before, we know, and we will trace the address. So the transparent nature of blockchain technology helps us resolve that quite a bit.”
Binance is indifferent
Zhao has to strike a balance between supporting Twitter and maintaining his responsibilities at Binance; thus, he emphasized being on the board is “not something I’m dying do.”
This comes at a time when bitcoin has also fallen to a two-year low following the collapse of the Binance FTX deal, so it is clear where his priorities may lie.
“I’m indifferent to it; if I’m asked, I probably will do it just as a favor, but it’s not something I’m dying to do. I’m pretty busy with Binance already.”
“I’m not the CEO of Twitter, were investors, minority investors, and we would like to be as supportive as possible…Everyone is asking what our plan is. I didn’t want to bother him [Musk] with many questions. I think he knows how to run the platform. He’s a strong entrepreneur.”
“We want to support anything Twitter does with crypto and Web3. We have all the technologies. We have the know-how. We have the products.”
He explained that he has yet to ask Musk for a detailed plan but that charging for comments and blue ticks are both in the pipeline.
Is Reddit the more impactful platform?
However, Sandeep Nailwal, Co-founder of Polygon, spoke on the topic by looking through the lens of Web3.
“Twitter has a lot of capabilities, there’s a lot of Web3 native teams, and the best thing about Elon is he’s willing to experiment.”
However, although Nailwal emphasized that crypto could become mainstream through this experimentation, he highlighted Reddit as the more impactful platform, especially regarding mainstream adoption, NFTs, and the future of social media.
Reddit has made many innovative moves showing its commitment to the ecosystem. For example, this July, the social media platform launched “blockchain-backed collectible avatars,” commonly known as NFTs. Reddit explained they wanted “Redditors to purchase collectible aviators” and “empower artists on Reddit.”
A purchase would give purchasers the right to use the art on and off Reddit. The avatars could be stored on the Ethereum-compatible Polygon, making them “owners and portability.” Many wallets have been onboarded to the crypto ecosystem, and millions of dollars have been transacted.
Cryptocurrency and social media long term
“In the future, we see blockchain as one way to bring more empowerment and independence to communities on Reddit. Reddit has always been a model for what decentralization could look like online; our communities are self-built and run. As part of our mission to better empower our communities, we are exploring tools to help them be even more self-sustaining and self-governed,” the organization explained on its website.
Social media has many potential futures; some players have taken ownership and decentralization to even greater levels.
For example, Lens Protocol is a decentralized social network. Each user’s profile remains their own, and they retain ownership over the content they create. Users can set up a DAO account, monetize their content and transfer their data. Polygon is integrated with this network, which allows users to earn rewards in polygon for supply liquidity and borrowing.
It stands as a model for what could come in the future of crypto and social media. Could Musk’s acquisition be just the beginning?
Helen Femi Williams is a freelance journalist and podcaster interested in fintech, politics, economics, and their intersections.
She is the host of the letsgetlitical podcast, a fortnightly show interviewing guests from all different sides of the political spectrum, in partnership with the Mozilla Foundation.
Prior to this role, she worked as an innovation consultant developing insurtech and fintech products and ideas for brands, startups, and major corporations.
She studied International Relations at the University of Nottingham (UK and Malaysia).