Elon Musk’s Twitter Overhaul Could Be Huge for DOGE and Crypto Generally

“Elon clearly has an affinity for DOGE, almost as part of a running joke, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he actually went through with enabling payments via DOGE.”

AccessTimeIconJul 25, 2023 at 4:30 p.m. UTC
Updated Jul 27, 2023 at 2:06 p.m. UTC
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  • Elon Musk’s decision to change Twitter’s name to X and make it an “everything app” could broaden the use of dogecoin (DOGE), bitcoin (BTC) and other cryptocurrencies.
  • “It would be an absolute game-changer to incorporate cryptocurrency payments as part of that ecosystem,” one expert said.

Elon Musk's brazen attempt to refashion Twitter into a new, broader service called X will apparently turn the iconic social-media app into a platform for making payments.

This dream, according to experts, probably has implications for cryptocurrencies, most specifically one of the billionaire's favorite playthings: dogecoin (DOGE).

Musk has long talked about creating a so-called everything app that incorporates not only social media and messaging but also the ability to buy things and send money. Crypto could easily factor into that, given Musk’s long history of dabbling in digital assets.

His carmaker, Tesla, holds bitcoin. He’s frequently talked about DOGE. “Dogecoin might be my fav cryptocurrency. It’s pretty cool,” he tweeted in 2019. Earlier this year, Twitter’s logo was for several days swapped out for dogecoin’s dog symbol, driving a huge (albeit temporary) DOGE rally. The token jumped this week on Monday after Twitter’s X rebranding.

“Elon clearly has an affinity for DOGE, almost as part of a running joke, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he actually went through with enabling payments via DOGE,” said Brian D. Evans, CEO and founder of BDE Ventures, a Web3 venture studio and advisory firm.

In January, the Financial Times reported that Musk had asked for payment infrastructure to be built at the company, initially for fiat currencies but with the ability to add crypto later.

Crypto going mainstream?

Crypto has never broken through to the mainstream, despite flirting with that status amid the bull market that ended in 2021. Musk has many detractors, so enabling payments via crypto on X is not guaranteed to move the needle on crypto adoption. However, X (née Twitter) still has millions of users, so it could broaden use.

“I suspect that he’ll incorporate other crypto assets such as bitcoin, ethereum along with stablecoins like USDC, but DOGE is such a part of Elon’s online presence that he would almost have to include a DOGE function were he to launch a crypto payments system on Twitter,” Evans said.

Musk’s vision for a platform called X goes years back to his time at PayPal, which got its name after the company merged with Peter Thiel and Max Levchin’s company Confitinity. Before the merge, its name was X.com – a URL Musk now owns and which redirects to twitter.com.

Twitter has already secured money transmitter licenses, which allows companies to receive and transfer funds, in three U.S. states – Michigan, Missouri and New Hampshire – as it quietly works on its payments tool.

“It’s clear that he’s keenly interested in turning the rebranded Twitter into something of a payments behemoth, and so it’s only natural that he would explore incorporating crypto in this functionality,” said Phillip Shoemaker, executive director of Identity.com, a non-profit organization providing decentralized identity verification. “If done correctly, Twitter could become the go-to platform for payments in general, whether they involve normie fintech applications or blockchains like Ethereum and Solana.”

A move into the crypto space wouldn’t be new for the app, which already partnered with Jack Mallers-led payments startup Strike in September 2021 to launch a bitcoin (BTC) tipping feature under former CEO Jack Dorsey.

“If we consider Musk’s vision for creating an everything app, it would be an absolute game-changer to incorporate cryptocurrency payments as part of that ecosystem,” said Raluca Cherciu, President of the Board at PairedWorld Foundation, an ecosystem that encourages social connectedness using tech-driven incentive mechanisms. “This not only resonates with the hugely active crypto community on Twitter, but also echoes Musk’s well-known fascination with the cryptosphere.”

UPDATE (July 25, 18:25 UTC): Clarifies who is quoted in eighth paragraph.

UPDATE (July 27, 14:06 UTC): Clarifies who is quoted in last paragraph.

Edited by Nick Baker.


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Helene Braun

Helene is a New York-based reporter covering Wall Street, the rise of the spot bitcoin ETFs and crypto exchanges. She is also the co-host of CoinDesk's Markets Daily show. Helene is a graduate of New York University's business and economic reporting program and has appeared on CBS News, YahooFinance and Nasdaq TradeTalks. She holds BTC and ETH.

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