Twitter’s move into the payments arena is about to accelerate dramatically.
And it is very likely that it will include cryptocurrencies.
Elon Musk made that clear in his virtual meeting with employees on Thursday (June 16).
When asked about integrating payments into the social media giant’s platform, Musk said that “money is fundamentally digital right now and has been for a while,” the New York Times reported. “It would make sense to integrate payments into Twitter, so it’s easy to send money back and forth.”
Musk has previously said he would like to see $15 million in payment revenue in 2023, a drop in the bucket, growing to $1.3 billion by 2028.
See Also: Pitching Musk To Twitter Investors: Five-fold Revenue, Reduce Reliance On Ads, Increase Payouts
It’s a topic Musk, who made $170 million selling PayPal, which he founded with Peter Thiel, has discussed before in his public courtship and Twitter feud.
In May, it said it wanted to turn Twitter into a super app inspired by Chinese social media giant WeChat, adding features like chat, video messaging, Facebook-like news feeds and other social media capabilities. A central feature would be payments, Musk told the All-In podcast, noting that the addition of payments capability made WeChat a powerhouse.
“If you are in China, you live on WeChat,” he said. “It does everything, kind of like Twitter, plus PayPal, plus a bunch of other things, all in one, with a great interface.”
That requires a “high-trust situation,” in which “payments, whether crypto or fiat, can make a lot of sense,” he said.
That trust part could be an interesting part of Twitter’s payment equation. While Musk has spoken in the past about the need to authenticate Twitter users (bots are a personal enemy that he has used to shut down acquisition for months), he said in today’s Q&A session that people don’t they should have to use their real names. and that the use of pseudonyms has a place in the expression of political opinions.
While the biggest issue in this regard might be its determination to open up the platform to much of the speech it has banned over the last two years, the payments could open up know-your-customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering. (AML) regulatory requirements. An obvious solution would be to require authentication to use payment features.
Crypto’s Big Day
With Musk at the helm (though probably not CEO), Twitter will be owned by someone who has a deep understanding of the payments industry and a strong supporter of crypto payments. It could be a huge expansion of the use of cryptocurrencies as currency.
Twitter has been slowly moving into the payments business since last year when it added a tipping feature, which included bitcoin last year and ether this year. That expanded dramatically in April when payment processor Stripe announced that it had added cryptocurrency payments capability using Circle’s USDC stablecoin to its Stripe Connect platform, with Twitter as its first client.
See also: Stripe rolls out crypto payment capabilities, logs into Twitter as first user
Still, that focuses on in-app payments to Twitter-based “creators, freelancers, sellers and independent entrepreneurs,” Stripe said. However, it also included cross-border payment capability, meaning USDC payments could be sent anywhere in near real-time and for very little cost.
On the crypto payments front, there are likely to be several winners.
A more aggressive and central focus on payments could be very good news for Circle, whose USD coin has grown dramatically in the last 18 months. It started 2021 with a market cap of around $4 billion. That’s now $54.5 billion, making it the fourth largest cryptocurrency after bitcoin, ether, and Tether’s USDT.
USDT, which launched in 2014, had $20 billion stablecoins on the market as of early 2021 and that number quadrupled to $80 billion. But USDC has grown by more than 1,300% in that time, suggesting that it has taken a huge market share from Tether.
Along with bitcoin, ether, and USDC, Twitter will very likely soon support Dogecoin, the memecoin that grew out of an obscure project that started as a joke and grew into a $7.5 billion cryptocurrency used by some crypto payment processors and companies like AMC and Game Stop. almost entirely on Musk’s support and fandom, as expressed through market-moving tweets. It is currently the 10th largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization.
Read More: Memecoin Ascendant: Can Elon Musk’s Twitter Dashboard Seat End Dogecoin’s Joke Status?
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