Well, it happened.
Elon bought Twitter.
DOGE ripped higher in anticipation.
A bunch of blue checks had meltdowns.
And in spite of being the head of numerous companies, he’s been communicating with the public on Twitter. He’s taken some punches and done some solid trolling.
There are lots of questions about what this will mean.
Will free speech be restored?
Will the users in Twitter jail be released?
And could this be a major turning point for crypto?
Let’s explore this last point.
Because this could be a major catalyst for a wide and rapid adoption of crypto across the world.
But first, let’s take a look at a previous attempt called Libra.
Libra? Or is it Diem?
Now, if you forgot about Libra, you aren’t alone. I couldn’t even remember the name of this effort when I started writing. I had to look it up. First, it was Libra. Then it was Diem.
Libra was, in many ways, a spectacular marketing effort. It put Facebook in the middle of a global conversation.
The idea was that Facebook would leverage its vast network to become a payment system. That payment system would use a digital coin based on a basket of fiat currencies. This would be similar to the DXY (dollar index), which represents a basket of other fiat currencies.
The Libra effort would have its own digital wallet.
It attracted a consortium of players from big retailers and payment specialists.
But there was criticism from various governments. Who did Facebook think it was? It looked like they would develop a supranational payment system. There were concerns that it would affect the ability of national central banks to manage prices and stability.
And one by one, partners began to disappear.
So did Libra until it was rebranded as a toned down Diem.
Then Diem sort of disappeared into Meta.
The crypto package is potent
Now, if we look at crypto broadly, we can see that it represents several possibilities in a single package.
You can use crypto as a speculative asset or a payment asset.
You can use crypto as a value storage asset.
You have the option of self-custody and the ability to be your own bank.
You can use various crypto assets as a cost-effective and relatively fast payment rail or system to transfer value.
And the one area where crypto excels is censorship-proof exchange between individuals. Meaning, you can bypass the various toll booths in the financial system and deal directly with others.
This wasn’t a big deal before. But it has become a significant issue over the last three years.
You can be unbanked as a result of legal activities that are unrelated to your payment activity.
PayPal recently revealed that they are willing to deduct money from your account if you violate their terms. What terms are they referring to? The use of misinformation and disinformation based on their judgment.
This is an overt form of censorship.
And it isn’t unique to PayPal. Economic and financial sanctions aren’t just being applied to nations. They are increasingly used on citizens for speech that is legal but otherwise unapproved by various so-called gatekeepers.
Elon has lots of skin in several games
Elon has as many detractors and supporters.
He is considered by some to be controlled opposition. Some say, his assets in China may open him up to CCP influence. There are investors in Twitter that some consider to be problematic. He has lots of money, so there is some talk that he’s just another globalist. His comments with regard to AI and the neural link give some the opportunity to label him a transhumanist.
But if you look at his actions, you can see something entirely different.
He has entered numerous fields of play and made a material change in each of these.
He entered fintech and payments with his involvement in PayPal. Transportation through Tesla. Space through SpaceX. Communication through Starlink. And he is also heavily involved in green energy initiatives.
And he did this by taking on significant personal financial risk.
He’s also dabbled in crypto in a very public manner.
What all of these areas have in common is that all of them involve numerous regulatory challenges. His various public spats with regulators and authorities give you insight into his experience here.
And all of this experience gives him a broad insight into many different facets of the economy.
But it was something he said in an interview once that should be considered. I think it was the Babylon Bee interview, where he was asked if he diversified his wealth. And what he said was that other than resources to meet his obligations, he was all in on his projects.
He believed that he should be fully committed to his projects if he was asking other people to invest alongside him.
So are the critics right?
No idea, but that last commitment, his skin-in-the-game approach, in word and deed, is meaningful and seldom considered when he is criticized.
Twitter could be the most powerful infrastructure on the planet
If you’ve been using Twitter over the last three years, you know how wild and crazy it’s become.
But under the surface is significant potential.
Twitter is referred to as social media and it is that. It’s a unique platform that brings together the broadest swath of society from around the world. There are few places where you can interact directly with celebrities, billionaires, everyday people, and everyone in between.
At one time you could discuss almost anything. That was before things started getting weird.
The platform eventually became infected with digital trolls, propaganda bots, and ideological litmus tests. It moved from a powerful platform of open debate and idea exchange to a cesspool of censorship.
However, Twitter represents one of the most important infrastructure plays on the planet. It touches every stratum of society everywhere around the world. It allows for the kinds of discussions you cannot find in the press these days.
Twitter can become a censorship-proof alternative to the existing system.
A peer-to-peer discussion board.
Crypto, a peer-to-peer, censorship-proof payment option, can be involved in Twitter’s revival.
And together, an emphasis on free expression and association can drive long-term use and adoption for both.
But like all great things it requires users to take ownership of how they use these services. Taking ownership means freedom of expression as a series of choices, which paradoxically involves negative choices.
Negative choices are the things you choose not to do. Which means, choosing not to engage in illegal activities, overt propaganda, or other activities that may cause material harm to others.
And not supporting or encouraging those that do.
Will that DOGE hunt?
When Elon took over, DOGE ramped. And when DOGE ramped, Charles Hoskinson came out and promoted Cardano and Algorand as alternatives. He even made mention of turning DOGE into a side chain. In other words, there are many crypto options for Twitter.
Twitter can provide a place to express core values of peer-to-peer and censorship-resistant exchange. Twitter could do this in part by becoming a powerful identity layer that remains unobtrusive and outside government control.
The platform could provide the ability to support, encourage and reward content creators by facilitating micropayments.
Likes are nice, but some coin is even better.
So you could use the existing crypto payment system through the platform. The platform will contribute to the identity part so you can know who you are transacting with.
Twitter could also provide another powerful way to explore advertisements. They could move from intrusive to values focused.
If Twitter moves to a hybrid model of free and memberships, members could choose which ads show up on their threads and profile pages. That way, the member’s values can be expressed in another way. They could be paid in their coin of choice for the privilege and split the revenue with Twitter. Or, if they prefer, no ads at all.
Imagine a free speech network spanning the globe, where people can interact financially with the people they know, like, and trust using the censorship-proof asset of their choice. And even earn based on what they value and contribute.
And they can interact together in an open and respectful way.
This can happen when you have a scrappy entrepreneur at the helm.
Twitter as an expression of core human values
The world has changed a lot in the last three years. We are faced with numerous challenges, including rampant inflation, out-of-control unelected NGOs, failing economic decisions, the breakdown of democratic principles, and potentially the loss of sacred freedoms.
At the core of these freedoms are those of speech, assembly, association, and bodily autonomy.
And the challenge many are facing is that their elected representatives no longer seem to speak for them.
But Twitter can change this conversation by converting its infrastructure back to a place where ideas reign. Where voices from across the globe can meet and be heard. And where civilized people can express their peer-to-peer preferences in an uncensored forum with uncensorable financial instruments.
A place where respect and open debate can go to find the truth. Where people can learn to discern what they hear and provide value with what they say.
For as George Orwell said, “in a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”
And part of that truth is that people will have their voices released from the shackles of government censorship.
They can express their preferences through respectful words and actions. And do it without fear of being censored, unbanked, and economically destroyed.
There are still some big catalysts ahead. Things will remain challenging.
We are going to see and hear some of the craziest things imaginable. These have all been under the surface the whole time.
Watch for it.
But in the meantime, keep an eye on Elon. The best of Twitter, and crypto are ahead.
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