Twitter Assembles Cryptocurrency Team to Study Bitcoin & Blockchain Applications
The social media business announced on Wednesday that it is putting together a team named “Twitter Crypto” to investigate ways to assist app makers in earning money or accepting cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin as payment, as well as other applications of blockchain technology. Tess Rinearson, a software engineer who just joined the company, will serve as the team’s leader and will report to Twitter’s chief technical officer. The team is trying to fill new positions, but did not indicate how many positions are available.
Specifically, Twitter stated that the new team will “define strategy for the future of cryptocurrency at (and on) Twitter.” Twitter already allows users to tip other users using bitcoin, the world’s most popular cryptocurrency. Users can also authenticate that they own a non-fungible token, or NFT, by posting a picture of it as their profile image, which was recently disclosed by the company.
However, the company is interested in investigating decentralized apps, which operate independently of a company’s server and allow users to have greater control over their privacy and what they may share online, according to the company. Despite the fact that a Twitter spokesperson declined to provide concrete examples of what the firm might construct, she noted that the company saw “an opportunity to assist creators in participating in the promise of a dynamic, decentralized internet, directly on Twitter.”
The price of bitcoin recently traded at over $69,000, its all-time high. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, who has been a long-time supporter of bitcoin, sold his first tweet as a non-fungible token (NFT) in March for approximately $2.9 million.
After Apple Inc. CEO Tim Cook stated earlier this week that the company is looking into digital currencies, the company has now confirmed its interest. While the company has no immediate plans to accept cryptocurrency on Apple Pay or as a form of payment for its products, “there are other things that we are definitely looking into,” according to the company’s spokesperson “Mr. Cook stated this at a press conference on Tuesday, without providing any additional information.
Other businesses and CEOs have also made forays into the bitcoin industry in recent years. Earlier this year, Tesla Inc. reported a $1.5 billion investment in bitcoin, and the company began taking the cryptocurrency as payment for its vehicles shortly after.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk voiced concern about the source of electricity being used to fuel bitcoin mining in May, prompting the company to halt the endeavor. Musk stated in July that he and his rocket company, Space Exploration Technologies Corp., also known as SpaceX, are investors in cryptocurrency.
Customers can pay merchants using cryptocurrency assets, according to PayPal Holdings Inc., which has stated that it wants to develop its company in this area. Square Inc., which like Twitter is managed by Dorsey, announced last year that it had purchased approximately $50 million in bitcoin for use in its corporate treasury, according to the Wall Street Journal.