Monday, January 30, 2023
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What Musk’s Twitter acquisition could mean for social media crypto adoption

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The emergence of Web3 applied sciences has introduced Web2-based corporations to contemplate amendments to their present services. Many main manufacturers are utilizing Web3 applied sciences akin to nonfungible tokens (NFTs) to advertise their model in addition to present their affiliation with rising tech. 

Social media is one other area the place Web3 appears to have the most important affect. Fb rebranded to Meta and has shifted its complete focus from being a social media platform to turning into the long run gateway of the metaverse. Meta-owned Instagram introduced it might add NFT minting and trading services throughout the app. Reddit, one other distinguished social media platform, grew to become a hub for NFT buying and selling with 3 million wallet holders on the platform.

Other than NFTs, social media giants like Twitter and Reddit have added support for users to tip content material creators in cryptocurrency. Nevertheless, the vast majority of social media platforms lack inherent crypto integration.

Twitter was reportedly engaged on growing its personal crypto pockets, and with Elon Musk’s latest $44-billion acquisition, many believed that the social media platform could very well integrate a crypto wallet quickly. Nevertheless, latest studies prompt that Musk has halted crypto pockets plans in the interim.

Regardless of the present setback within the crypto pockets integration, market pundits are hopeful of seeing extra Web3-focused companies on the social media platform. Martin Hiesboeck, head of blockchain and crypto analysis at cryptocurrency buying and selling platform Uphold, informed Cointelegraph that Twitter already helps crypto tipping, thus including crypto pockets help is the subsequent logical step:

“Many within the crypto area are bracing themselves for the way Elon Musk will affect the trade, and the response has been surprisingly optimistic. It’s clear Musk will drive the digital asset integration with the platform alongside. As an illustration, many platforms will supply their very own crypto wallets with the intention to hold transactions near their ecosystem. Twitter doing it is a logical step for a social community that already allows customers to ship ideas in crypto.”

Musk’s acquisition of Twitter made headlines not simply due to the controversies main as much as the finalization of the deal but in addition as a result of he took the social media platform private nearly 13 years after it went public. With Twitter being a personal firm now, Musk has an even bigger say within the decision-making course of, and lots of consider this can assist him push for extra crypto and Web3-related companies on the platform.

Jack Jia, head of GateFi at fintech agency Unlimint, informed Cointelegraph that over the course of the previous 18 months, a major chunk of Web2 platforms have built-in Web3 help, and he hopes Twitter will transfer in an analogous path with Musk on the helm:

“You’ll be able to join noncustodial wallets like MetaMask to your Instagram or Twitter and show your NFT as a profile image. Google launched a totally managed Ethereum node service very similar to Infura and Alchemy. Then Coinbase and Revolut look extra comparable in the present day than completely different when it comes to crypto options and performance. So, Musk’s Twitter may have an amazing affect on crypto, most likely by launching one thing much like Aave’s Lens Protocol, decentralizing Twitter to make it extra censorship-resistant.”

Web3 onboarding remains to be lagging behind and must be made easier and quicker, and social media platforms will help to onboard billions of individuals to Web3, virtually in a single day. This was evident from the success of the Reddit NFTs. 

Max Kordek, CEO of blockchain infrastructure platform Lisk, informed Cointelegraph that Web3 isn’t an unbiased web ecosystem however moderately a transition, and these platforms are finest fitted to onboarding.

“I believe what folks typically misunderstand is that Web3 isn’t an unique new web. Inside Web3 we additionally discover Web2, the identical manner we discovered the previous World Extensive Internet inside Web2. Within the case of social media integrating crypto, we’re speaking a few merge of Web2 and Web3. On the finish of the day, a social media platform is only a distribution channel; Web3 doesn’t make them irrelevant. They are going to be ever extra essential in a extra related future,” he mentioned.

Social media’s previous hinders crypto and Web3 aspirations

Social media platforms began out as a medium to attach with folks internationally, and within the Web2 ecosystem, they grew to become an integral a part of the web. Nevertheless, with time, these social media platforms additionally grew to become a centralized host of information for thousands and thousands of customers, which main manufacturers and firms depend on to promote their merchandise.

Social media platforms’ reliance on advertisers has led to malpractice at a number of social media platforms. These platforms had been discovered to be promoting customers’ delicate information to advertisers, and poor safety measures have additionally led to information leaks and violations of privateness rights. That is the explanation Kayla Kroot, co-founder and director of design at decentralized publishing protocol Koii Community, believes these social media corporations’ crypto aspirations can harm the trade in the long run.

Kroot cited the instance of the latest controversy round Musk’s plans to introduce an $8-per-month payment for the notorious “blue tick,” telling Cointelegraph:

“Whereas any main mainstream expertise platform’s integration of cryptocurrency could also be seen as a optimistic step for adoption, the deep-rooted capitalistic tendencies of social media corporations point out that it might harm the trade in the long run. If mishandled, these integrations will push thousands and thousands of potential customers away. One latest instance of that is Twitter’s controversial transfer in direction of requiring verified members to pay $8+ month-to-month for Twitter Blue.”

She additional famous rising consciousness round information autonomy and consumer privateness — areas particularly valued throughout the blockchain group — and mentioned {that a} transfer to combine cryptocurrency “into networks that actively violate the core beliefs of the group might be seen by crypto natives for what it’s: a money seize. The notion by the bigger inhabitants could possibly be a lot worse, damaging the notion of cryptocurrency altogether.”

Meta is a major instance of this because the agency is struggling to transition from its Web2-based origins into a totally decentralized, Web3 ecosystem. Crypto integrations which are pushed by revenue and that don’t align with the ethos of the crypto group is not going to solely alienate crypto-native customers however might add gasoline to the anti-crypto fireplace. At its core, blockchain expertise promotes distributed governance and possession for customers, however the bigger social media platforms are nonetheless very centralized, actively exploiting their customers’ content material for site visitors and income.

At the moment, hottest creators on conventional social media platforms are driving platform traction, however the platforms themselves are benefiting from that traction with advert income, not the creators. Thus, a majority of those crypto integrations appear to financial institution on the pattern moderately than really work throughout the ethos of the rising expertise.

Tom McArdle, chief working officer of decentralized messaging companies Satellite tv for pc.im, known as Twitter’s Web3 aspirations a “traditional wolf-in-sheep’s-clothing second for Web3.”

He informed Cointelegraph, “It’s possible that crypto might be built-in into the Twitter platform post-acquisition. Simply including the power to pay in Bitcoin or Dogecoin on prime of an current Web2 expertise stack isn’t a step ahead for the Web3 motion. Twitter will proceed to function in a centralized nature and can extra aggressively monetize platform members since Musk has levered up the corporate to prosecute the acquisition and now wants $1 billion a yr simply to cowl curiosity bills.”

“The combination of crypto funds is simply one other income stream and has nothing to do with the social and moral priorities that include the Web3 frontier — transparency, consumer privateness and information possession.”

On one hand, the rising curiosity in Web2 social media platforms in integrating Web3 applied sciences has been lauded as a step towards higher adoption. However, Web3 specialists consider that social media platforms are solely banking on the pattern and never the ethos of Web3, which might ultimately drive away true crypto adoption, citing the instance of Meta and its latest failure to rebrand itself as a Web3 model.