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Editor's Note: Is Decentralized Media the Answer?
Molly Jane Zuckerman writes...
All that anyone has been talking about for the past few months is Twitter and Elon Musk — will he buy Twitter, now that he has Twitter, what will he do with it, and who is getting fired next and what else could he charge us for?
Musk's Twitter acquisition has ended up being just as contentious as headline writers could have dreamed, and it's already certain that that social media network will never be the same as it was before. As Musk continues on his campaign to bring his version of "free speech" to Twitter (which seems to involve paying $8 a month for… something), all of the Web 3 cryptocurrency people now need to decide — is this their big chance to swoop in with a decentralized alternative?
There are definitely several relatively established decentralized social media attempts in the Web 3 crypto coins space, but they all lack the ease of use and the branding and reach that Web2 companies like Twitter, Instagram and Facebook have. Sure, they don't have Twitter's bot problems, but that's because they don't have enough users for bots to find spamming there attractive.
If Musk does end up making Twitter unusable for what crypto people love it for — tweeting hot takes, reading the news, and arguing about market trends — Web3, here's your chance to bring in that next million users. You just have to build something that works first.
Elon Musk has begun making huge job cuts at Twitter — less than a week after he acquired the social network. Offices were temporarily closed, with staff stopped from accessing internal systems. Those losing their job were informed through an email to their personal address. Reports suggest up to 3,700 — about 50% of staff — could end up being given their marching orders. There's speculation that the entire curation team have been dismissed, with critics warning this will make Twitter "noisier, more dangerous and less interesting." It's also difficult to see how Musk will achieve his efforts to tackle spam bots after such a drastic reduction in talent. The tech giant's staff have faced months of uncertainty as the messy takeover progressed.
According to Bloomberg News, a class action lawsuit has now been filed in a federal court in San Francisco over the layoffs. And in a sign that things will get challenging for staff who remain, Musk has canceled "days of rest" — with warnings Twitter's remote work policy is facing the ax. It's worth noting that Twitter was in dire straits even before the world's richest man swooped in to snap up the micro-blogging site — and job cuts would have happened anyway. The likes of Volkswagen and Pfizer have already announced that they're planning to pull advertising from the site. As Friday's chaos unfolded, Musk was continuing to tweet random things as usual, including: "Why is small talk even legal?"
BTC surged suddenly on Friday — accelerating from $20,700 to $21,200 in under an hour. This is the first time that the world's biggest cryptocurrency has broken through $21,000 in two months. It'll fuel hopes that "Moonvember" could inject some much-needed bullishness into the crypto markets as the end of the year approaches. Bitcoin has risen by 4.4% over the past 24 hours at the time of writing. Ether's an even bigger winner — up 6.85% — while Binance Coin has risen 8.5%. But even though Dogecoin has now risen up CoinMarketCap's rankings, and is now No. 8, the memecoin is still down 3.2% on the day amid reports that Twitter has abandoned the development of a crypto wallet. It's the only major altcoin in negative territory.
In other news, U.K. customers with a major bank will soon find it harder to buy crypto from exchanges. Santander says payments to these trading platforms will be capped at $1,100 per transaction — and no more than $3,300 can be spent in a single 30-day period. In a statement, executives said the move was in response to "a large increase in customers becoming victims of cryptocurrency fraud." Bitcoiners have criticized Santander's decision — and are accusing the financial institution of clamping down on crypto because it "threatens" its business model. There's a great deal of inconsistency across British banks when it comes to crypto, and some do allow purchases to be made without restrictions.
Several major crypto businesses reported financial results on Thursday — and it's a mixed bag to say the least. Coinbase suffered a loss of $544 million in the third quarter of 2022 — compared with bumper profits of $406 million a year ago. But in one bright spot for the exchange, it had 8.5 million transacting users — far beyond the 7.8 million analysts had expected. Things were much brighter over at Block, which saw third-quarter revenues surge as Cash App grew. Despite demand for Bitcoin cooling as prices fell, Cash App increased gross profit by 51% in the three months to Sept. 30. Elsewhere, PayPal — which allows its customers to buy and sell crypto — saw its shares fall after slashing its annual revenue growth forecast.