By Gerelyn Terzo on Friday 13 January 2023
Crypto is conspicuously absent from the plans.
Twitter is bolstering its monetisation game. Elon Musk’s company has seemingly chosen payments giant Stripe to support a new "Coins" feature on the social media platform.
According to security research and data miner Jane Manchun Wong, Twitter’s new Coins feature will let users reward creators for their content with virtual coins purchased online using fiat money through Stripe. These tweet awards come in a variety of exclamations, like “mind blown,” "bravo,” and “gem,” to name a few, all of which will be attached to the coins.
Wong managed to capture a snapshot of the new screen, which is a work in progress. Twitter developers are building out a coin purchasing dashboard and coins menu that directs users to the purchase screen, she explained.
Payment distributions will seemingly also be completed in fiat, once creators have accumulated at least $50 in awards. In a blow to the cryptocurrency industry, the virtual coins won’t exist on the blockchain, based on social media scuttlebutt. This is in sharp contrast to real cryptos such as bitcoin and Dogecoin, both of which Musk holds in his investment portfolio.
However, it’s not outside the realm of possibility that Stripe, which has been actively participating in Web3, will accept cryptocurrency payments for Twitter Coins eventually. Twitter and Stripe are no strangers. The social media giant already uses Stripe Connect to pay creators for their rewards from features like Ticketed Spaces and Super Follows.
As part of a pilot program introduced last year, select Twitter creators can opt to have their earnings paid to a crypto wallet. Stripe supports crypto distributions in stablecoin USDC, which is backed by the US dollar and issued by fintech Circle. If this ability is expanded to Twitter awards, it might similarly involve a stablecoin like USDC. Stripe in 2018 abandoned bitcoin payments due to the volatile nature of the leading cryptocurrency.
Meanwhile, despite the absence of Bitcoin or Dogecoin, both cryptocurrencies have been rallying of late. It could be in response to signs of easing inflation in the US economy, with the latest CPI data showing a modest decline for December. The bitcoin price is up nearly 5 per cent in the past 24 hours to above the $18,000 level while Dogecoin has gained close to 7 per cent in the past week.
The Twitter Coins feature is not yet available, but based on the social media response, it could be a hit.