- The Pieces of Dorsey’s Bitcoin Puzzle: A Quick Timeline
- The Implications of a Twitter Bitcoin Integration
- Final Thoughts
Jack Dorsey, the co-founder of Twitter and founder of Square who currently serves as the CEO of both, may be looking to launch a Bitcoin payment integration on Twitter.
In a recent series of tweets regarding his role in the “lightning torch” passing, Dorsey hinted at a future tweet-invoice function powered by the Lightning Network.
— jack (@jack) February 5, 2019
A possible integration comes as little to no surprise, as Dorsey has not shied away from expressing his pro-Bitcoin views in the past, going as far as saying Bitcoin will ultimately be the world’s single currency. Although bullish, at the time of the quote (March 2018), Dorsey also expressed his hesitations that “[Bitcoin] does not have the capabilities right now to become an effective currency. It’s slow and it’s costly, but as more and more people have it, those things go away. There are newer technologies that build off of blockchain and make it more approachable.”
The Pieces of Dorsey’s Bitcoin Puzzle: A Quick Timeline
- March 15th, 2018 – Lightning Labs released its first mainnet beta and revealed its seed financing from payments heavy hitters such as Jack Dorsey (CEO of Twitter and Square – one of the largest P2P payment platforms with over 2 million users), David Sacks (former PayPal COO), Vlad Tenev (Robinhood co-founder), and Charlie Lee: Creator of Litecoin. Lightning Labs is building second-layer solutions to help Bitcoin payments become faster and more efficient.
- August 29th, 2018 – Dorsey’s San Francisco-based digital payments firm Square had their patent application approved. This proposed system would allow merchants to accept cryptocurrency and cash it out into a currency of their choice.
- February 5th, 2019 – Dorsey gets passed the “lightning torch”, essentially a digital game of hot potato where each participant who receives the lightning torch adds a little bitcoin to the payment and passes it to another trusted entity on Twitter. According to CoinDesk, roughly 150 people around the world have taken part in the torch passing. Upon receiving the torch, Dorsey quickly passed it to Lightning Labs CEO Elizabeth Stark.
The Implications of a Twitter Bitcoin Integration
Nearly every other social media platform has a system to send and receive payments. Facebook, Snapchat, Whatsapp, Instagram (even though it’s more retail focused) – you name it.
“Twitter differs from other social media platforms with payment integrations primarily in the way users use the platform. Facebook, Snapchat, and WhatsApp are all essentially closed systems of friends, and most posts are private to your friends and focus on fostering your relationships,” comments Troy Osinoff, a co-founder at NYC-based marketing agency JUICE and cryptocurrency aficionado. “Twitter (and Instagram) are generally you projecting out to strangers. Sure, some people make their account private, but most don’t. Many users find more value in interacting with strangers on Twitter than on Facebook.”
Twitter integrating Bitcoin payments seems more in line with how their userbase utilizes the platform. Twitter hasn’t historically served as much of an online retail marketplace, which Instagram seems to be gravitating towards, but it has done a great job at capturing real-time sentiments on a massive scale.
Bitcoin, paired with the second layer solutions created at Lightning Labs, would offer the Twitter community a near-instant method of transferring value in something as seamless as an invoice-by-tweet function.
The cryptocurrency community is usually quick to put the wagon in front of the horse, but the information is hard to ignore.
Bitcoin is resilient. Bitcoin is principled. Bitcoin is native to internet ideals. And it’s a great brand.
— jack (@jack) February 5, 2019
Is a Twitter-Bitcoin integration going to take Bitcoin to the moon? The integration definitely won’t hurt, but probably not. Twitter clocked in around 326 million users in Q3 2018 and integration would at a minimum expose millions of people to the cryptocurrency and potentially convert a smaller portion to start utilizing it to occasionally transact.
With 17.5 million BTC currently in circulation, the sheer increase in demand would likely cause a spike in price – but don’t be so quick to get caught up in price. The value of Twitter integrating Bitcoin isn’t in Bitcoin (or TWTR stock) appreciation, it’s in sparking unprecedented levels of mainstream usability.
“People shouldn’t be so focused on the daily news as much as they should pay attention to the macro trends of who invested in what, and where their interests are,” notes Jared Moore, a cryptocurrency enthusiast. “Consider the mass potential of a wallet with a decentralized exchange “dex”, a stablecoin, and digitized security all sendable through a massive social media platform like Twitter or Facebook.”
Integrating Bitcoin payments on Twitter would be a monumental occasion for the digital currency, especially so on a platform with a notably Bitcoin bull CEO like Jack Dorsey. Dorsey’s investments in scaleability solutions created by Lightning Labs will help reduce Bitcoin’s inefficiencies and take it one step forward in fulfilling Dorsey’s prophecy of a single global currency.
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