Elon Musk wants Twitter payments system built with crypto in mind
Twitter’s upcoming payments tool will initially support only fiat currencies, but Elon Musk wants it built to potentially support crypto in the future.
Twitter chief Elon Musk has reportedly instructed his developers to build the platform’s payments system in such a way that crypto functionality can be added in the future.
According to a Jan. 30 Financial Times report, two people familiar with Twitter’s plans said the payments feature will support fiat currencies to start but be built to accommodate cryptocurrencies should the opportunity arise.
Twitter has long teased bringing payments to the social media platform — forming part of Musk’s stated plan to make Twitter an “everything app.”
Buying Twitter is an accelerant to creating X, the everything app
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 4, 2022
However, it has remained vague as to whether these payments will involve blockchain or crypto technology, despite the Twitter CEO seeing a big role for crypto on Twitter.
In early December 2022, images were leaked revealing “Twitter Coins” — a secret in-development digital asset to be used for payments and tipping on the platform, with many hopeful it would involve crypto in some way.
However, the more recently leaked images of the project in early January made no mention of crypto or blockchain technology much to the dismay of the community.
Unconfirmed rumors also emerged in October last year that Twitter was working on a wallet prototype that would support crypto deposits and withdrawals.
However, it appears for the time being, the payments system will go ahead with only fiat support.
To that end, Twitter has begun the application process for state-based regulatory licenses across the United States that would allow it to introduce payments to the platform.
One of the sources said the company hopes the U.S. licensing process will be completed within a year.
Related: The ‘Elon effect’ shows how opinion leaders shape the fintech market
In November 2022, “Twitter Payments LLC” registered with the U.S. Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) which would allow it to process payments.
In a Twitter Space around the same time, Musk said he envisioned allowing bank accounts to be connected to Twitter profiles and incorporating debit cards along with the platform being able to facilitate money transfers.
Following the future approval of the U.S. licenses, Twitter would eye gaining regulatory approvals internationally according to one of the sources.