An early leader in the creation of PayPal, the Twitter and Tesla CEO has consistently pushed a vision turning the social media platform into an 'everything app' that incorporates payments.
Elon Musk is moving ahead with plans to turn Twitter into a payments app that would eventually include cryptocurrency options.
While Musk wants to focus on fiat currencies like the U.S. dollar "first and foremost," crypto payments could come later, according to a Jan. 30 report in the Financial Times.
The report adds that Twitter is applying for regulatory licenses from the U.S. Treasury Department as well as state regulators throughout the country, and hopes to have them in place within a year.
As most things involving Elon Musk and cryptocurrency do, the article drove a quick spike in the price of Dogecoin, which rose from $0.086 to $0.091, although it fell back within two hours.
The Everything App
The introduction of payments into the social media app is something Musk talked about as far back as May, when he proposed making Twitter into a super app modeled on China's WeChat.
The Chinese social media giant "does everything — sort of like Twitter, plus PayPal, plus a whole bunch of things, and all rolled into one, with a great interface," he said on the All-In podcast. "If you're in China, you kind of live on WeChat."
He added that making Twitter a payments app requires a "high-trust" environment. Musk made his first fortune as part of the PayPal Mafia, building the online payments firm into a powerhouse.
Earlier Crypto Payment Forays
In Sept. 2021, Twitter's then-CEO Jack Dorsey partnered with bitcoin Lightning Network payments processor Strike to allow tipping via BTC.
Then in April 2022, Twitter partnered with payments processor Stripe to become its first client of Stripe Connect, enabling payments in USDC.
The goal, according to Stripe Crypto Product Manager Karan Sharma was to enable payments to "creators, freelancers, sellers and solopreneurs." Sharma said:
"While it's easier than ever before to find customers and fans, getting paid can still be difficult, especially outside of major markets."
The use of the dollar-pegged USDC stablecoins "will enable many people who wouldn't otherwise be able to hold dollars to do so," he added.