Elon Musk has made no secret of the big role he sees for cryptocurrency in his new acquisition social media company twitter.
Binance CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao’s decided to invest $500 million (496 million euros) in Twitter, while Dogecoin – the “people’s crypto”, according to Musk, who staunchly backed him – has since surged the takeover of Musk.
While other social media companies have tried unsuccessfully to use cryptos or set up wallets (notably Facebook and its Libra coin), Twitter may succeed, according to the founder of public blockchain platform Cardano , Charles Hoskinson.
“Now it’s an interesting thing to mix a social network with a financial stack,” he told Euronews Next at the Web Summit in Lisbon.
“Twitter is particularly well suited for that. And a crypto component is something Musk has been talking about since the dotcom days of the late 90s.”
No strategy for using crypto or crypto wallet has yet been unveiled; for now, Musk has put his attention on billing the blue tick check mark and also dismissal staff.
“This is just the start and what he’s probably going to do is come in and gut the company, fire half the people, move it to Austin, put in some really strong leadership that he trusts. , then step back and kind of let them run it, and then focus a lot more on merging those two worlds; on the social media side and the fintech stack,” Hoskinson said.
“It remains to be seen if he will verticalize and do everything himself or if he will do it with partners”.
While the SpaceX and Tesla boss strongly emphasized his preference for Dogecoin, Hoskinson said he was “always available” to consult with Musk, and said a partnership with a cryptocurrency or exchange company particular would benefit not only the companies chosen by Musk, but also the crypto sector. a set.
“The rising tide of being a ramp is a very powerful thing and they may have primary value of being rising tides, but the secondary value is enough for all of us,” he said, adding that people who buy crypto usually don’t. just hold a token as they own a bit of everything including Bitcoin, Ether or Cardano’s ADA token.
“If competition is king and therefore if he makes bad decisions, I think the markets are large and diverse enough to punish bad decisions. If he makes good decisions, I think they are important enough for the reward,” he said.
WEB3 and NFT
But crypto may not be the only change to Twitter. Implementing a Web3 model and blockchain could fundamentally change how the social media platform is funded and how it combats misinformation.
“I think this will really help Twitter become a platform for free speech because right now speech is regulated by advertiser intent,” Hoskinson said.
“If you have a direct relationship with your platform, so blue ticks, you no longer have to rely on advertisers and can therefore focus more on adding value to the experience.”
Blockchain could become a valuable asset for Twitter because “it gives you a place to put all the ingredients for a better social network,” he added.
This, he explained, could mean using a decentralized identifier to start asking objective questions such as “How true is this tweet?”
Crypto allows the user or publisher to then put a bounty on the statement. If the statement then turns out to be false, for example, the publisher may have to pay a fine or lose a deposit.
“A lot of these struggles that we’re going through right now to give economic agency to information and create markets for good information versus bad information and also change advertising models,” he said.
With the current advertising format, this means that the concern is not whether a post is true, but whether it has enough views. Hoskinson said it wasn’t a form of sustainable media because there wasn’t much truth to it.
“If we can create different business models where you actually create markets for truthfulness, markets for investigative journalism, markets for alternative media, I think that will be very transformational and it will change media in shape they’re in and people are going to have a much better time with it,” he said.
2024 US presidential election
Another part of Web3 that will be important for social media and the internet is NFTs, he added.
He explained that while deep celebrity fakes can be humorous, they can be dangerous, especially during elections.
“We have a crisis. The 2024 presidential election in the United States will likely be the first election heavily influenced by deep forgeries,” Hoskinson said.
“[A deep fake of] Biden killing a child or something in a dark ritual and it looks convincing… It would be devastating to the integrity of an election.”
However, Hoskinson believes Musk will use Twitter to his advantage in the upcoming battle for the White House.
“If you think about it geopolitically, there really is no platform on this scale [like Twitter] it’s right-wing in the United States. Most of them are on the left,” he said.
For Republicans trying to regain power, “it’s a very, very nice move for someone in his position,” Hoskinson said, because much of Musk’s empire relies on government handouts.
“So by acquiring Twitter and creating a right-wing platform, if he can play a part in the red tide and help Republicans get back to power, he’s very likely to be rewarded with a boatload of pork. government for SpaceX and Tesla and all sorts of stuff”.