Twitter has announced that it is launching a dedicated crypto team to look into decentralized applications, cryptocurrencies and blockchain—and it is calling the initiative “Twitter Crypto.” The announcement comes less than two months after Twitter first launched crypto tipping for its users through a partnership with lightning network provider Strike Inc. At the time, Twitter also said that it would allow users to authenticate their non-fungible tokens on the platform. According to the company, the new initiative will be “a centre of excellence for all things blockchain and web3.”
For a start, the team will explore crypto payments (Bitcoin tips, crypto payments for Ticketed Spaces), opportunities for creator monetization (NFT tooling), and decentralizing social media (part of the general movement toward Web3).
Twitter announced that the team will be led by crypto engineer Tess Rinearson. Prior to this appointment, she was at Interchain, which develops decentralized technologies, and Interstellar, a decentralized crypto wallet and exchange.
Based in Berlin, Tess Rinearson said that she has no plans to leave Germany but would organize a “distributed and cross-cultural” team for the new project. She added, “As I build out the team, we’ll be working to figure out what crypto can do for Twitter, as well as what Twitter can do for crypto. Twitter truly “gets” crypto (hello bitcoin tipping & NFTs!) but there’s so much more to explore here.”
Rinearson’s appointment comes as big tech firms grapple with how to grow alongside web3, which refers to a possible new iteration of the internet that will run on public blockchains. It will be decentralized by nature, unlike web2, the internet we know today.
Twitter Crypto will work closely with a nascent Twitter-sponsored initiative called Bluesky, which aims to build an “open decentralized standard for social media.” Twitter’s move comes as Twitter’s Chief Executive Officer Jack Dorsey has long touted bitcoin as the future. He said in June that if it weren’t for Square or Twitter, two successful tech companies he founded, he would be working on Bitcoin. In recent months, both his companies have announced more advancements in the digital asset ecosystem.
Twitter isn’t the only major social platform exploring blockchain technology. Just this week, Discord’s Founder and Chief Executive Jason Citron implied in a tweet that Discord is working on an integration with MetaMask, a popular crypto wallet service. Reddit is also hiring engineers for an NFT platform.
As of the time of this writing, Twitter is currently trading at $52.33, down 2.55 percent for the day.