Crypto Exchange Binance to Use Twitter as Web 3 ‘Sandbox,’ Help Musk Fend Off Bots: Exec

Patrick Hillman, chief strategy officer at Binance, discusses the goals to help Elon Musk fend off internet bots on Twitter and why Binance sees the potential for Web3 innovation following its $500 investment in the social media company.

AccessTimeIconNov 1, 2022 at 9:57 p.m. UTC
Updated May 9, 2023 at 4:01 a.m. UTC

Binance chipped in $500 million as an equity partner with Elon Musk to buy Twitter in hopes of using the social media platform as a “sandbox” to deal with Web 3 issues, according to the exchange’s chief strategy officer, Patrick Hillman.

“We look at this as a massive historic opportunity for R&D [research and development],” Hillman told CoinDesk TV’s “First Mover” program Tuesday. “[It’s] a chance to take a prestigious Web2 platform and use it as a sandbox to start taking apart some of the challenges that we've seen become synthetical in the Web2 space.”

Hillman said the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by volume is looking to be a “critical partner” in Twitter’s growth and innovation and would turn to “Web3 solutions” to solve some of the challenges on the platform, such as non-fungible token (NFT) user authentication and whether the platform could be used as payments system to “create small micro transactions.”

Besides running Tesla and SpaceX, Musk is one of the co-founders of payments giant PayPal, through a predecessor company.

The payment strategy could be used as a way to fend off bots, Hillman said, making it so “the average user could bear the cost” while making it “extraordinarily expensive” for bots to be able to sustain their activity.

The issue of bots goes “well beyond people trying to pump coins,” said Hillman, adding that bots have soured the ability for the crypto community to use the Twitter platform as a place to speak freely.

“Being able to attack and address that bot issue is going to be critical to reopening a healthy dialogue around crypto,” Hillman said, adding that other issues, including pump and dump schemes, would also need to be addressed.


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Fran Velasquez

Fran is CoinDesk's TV writer and reporter.

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