Social media platform Twitter announced on Thursday that it will begin allowing its users to send and receive Bitcoin payments. The introduction comes as part of the company’s wider effort to monetize its site.
The popular platform will also move to authenticate its users’ nonfungible tokens– digital objects, most often artworks. Twitter is responding to the fact that users love to post the various NFTs they own on their own profiles, but there is currently no form of authentication to show that the person is posting an NFT they actually own.
Such information exists on the Ethereum blockchain, where NFTs are sold and minted, but there is not yet a way to connect this information with posts on Twitter.
There’s this growing interest among creators to use apps that run on the blockchain,” said Esther Crawford, a product executive helping to improve Twitter’s features. “We want to help creators participate in the promise of an evolving decentralized internet directly on Twitter.”
Twitter will allow Bitcoin payments in a bid to attract more content creators
Twitter hopes that its effort to enhance payment on the platform will attract more content creators, allowing them to monetize their presence on the platform. Websites like YouTube, Twitch and Patreon offer veritable ways of monetizing content, but Twitter’s format allows content to reach larger and untapped audiences easier, with features that allow users to retweet and like posts onto other user’s timelines.
Although YouTube’s algorithm has long had a “related” and “suggested” video feature, many have complained that this algorithm is vulnerable to sponsored and ‘planted’ results, pushing smaller creators out of site from potential audiences.
Twitter will also be introducing something similar to Patreon and Twitch’s payment subscription features, dubbed “Super Follows” where followers can pay for exclusive content from creators.
Twitter’s CEO Jack Dorsey has long endorsed cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, frequently tweeting about it to his followers. Dorsey also has a passion for NFTs, and minted his first ever tweet on the blockchain, selling it for over $2.9 million.
NFTs have become a mainstay of the decentralized internet.
Many are jumping at the opportunity to make landmark moments in internet culture their own digital asset and transforming the blockchain into an immaterial museum in the process. Minting these moments as NFTs contextualizes them in a digital form that reflects the culture they produced.
NFTs have also faced backlash over their toll on the environment, a criticism they share with Ethereum and cryptocurrency at large. The debate over the energy usage involved in minting NFTs rocked the art world, causing heated denouncement from artists who believed the tokens to be a “ecological nightmare pyramid scheme.”