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Musk To Reinvent Twitter: "Half The Global Financial System"
Elon Musk's plan to reinvent Twitter as "X", the "Everything App", including payments, is big on aspiration, light on detail.
Elon Musk has suggested that "X"—the new name for his updated, rebranded version of Twitter—could account for half of the world's financial system "if done right".
Having bought Twitter for $44 billion last autumn, Musk promptly fired 75% of the workforce and has tinkered seemingly endlessly with the platform, impacting the user experience, driving users to competitors such as Mastodon and Threads, and causing advertisers to pull out.
His master plan is to reinvent the social network as the "Everything App", known as "X" (his favorite letter), including supporting payments, as CEO Linda Yaccarino tweeted.
The Surveillance App
Musk has not provided many details of how X will become a financial app, though it would likely be broadly modelled on China's WeChat. However, if he is right and X takes a significant share of the payments and financial space, it will inevitably raise questions about user privacy. While Musk has proven to be a fan of Bitcoin and (arguably more so) Dogecoin, it's unlikely that X will rely on cryptocurrencies alone for financial transfers.
Instead, it will be a centralized Web2 giant of a financial app, which necessarily means collecting and monetizing user data. We have already seen where that leads with Facebook, and it is unavoidable that—if Musk is successful in turning X into the largest financial platform in the world—it would also turn into the largest surveillance app, and the biggest threat to privacy.
For now, X is little more than an idea. Changes are being made to Twitter, including the new logo being rolled out, but there is little detail and little in the way of substantive change—at least so far. And there will be many hurdles to overcome in making X the "Everything" app that Musk wants, including regulatory challenges, technical questions, and (most importantly, given the recent issues) actually taking into account what users need, want, and will pay for.
X's future is unclear, as is Elon's capacity to realize his vision. What we do know is that Twitter, aka X, has been fundamental to the crypto space since its inception. It will doubtless continue to be so—but we don't, for now, know what form that will take.
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