Turn left on WeChat, right on Web 3: Will Musk turn Twitter into a decentralized social media?

Original author: Dark Side of the Moon

Original source: Panews

Tesla, SpaceX, and the owner of 110 million Twitter Follwers, Elon Musk, officially released his little blue bird, and staged the Mary Sue story of “heroes save the beauty” at a cost of $44 billion (300 billion yuan).


After a six-month tug-of-war, Musk’s Twitter merger was finally settled. Musk finally chose to abide by his promise, used Tesla as collateral, and cooperated with Sequoia, Binance and other investors to make a formal transaction. Twitter was acquired in April at an agreed price of $44 billion, and Twitter was subsequently delisted, becoming a private company fully controlled by Musk.

During this process, Musk’s position has experienced many rounds of swings, but he has never given up financing, and X Holdings, which is preparing for the acquisition, has not stopped operating. Even in July’s announcement of termination of the acquisition, it seems more like in hindsight. It is a bargaining performance art.


In the acquisition case, Musk’s skeptical argument surfaced that the number of Twitter users was fake, and even claimed that as many as 20% of the number of users was fraudulent, but in fact, Musk, as a right-wing and West Coast industrial capitalist, is more dissatisfied As evidenced by Twitter’s censorship policy, Vijaya Gadde, the head of law, policy and trusts who banned Trump’s account, was fired as soon as he took office.

In addition to business and politics, Musk’s relationship with Web 3.0 has also become the focus of attention. On Twitter, Musk has repeatedly tried to combine Bitcoin and Dogecoin for platforms such as Bitcoin and Dogecoin. Sla’s move to test the waters, and judging from Musk’s chat records leaked on September 28, he prefers Twitter to become a public platform for free speech, which must rely on more blockchain technology and go. Centralized concept to achieve.

In addition, Musk also expressed his love for the WeChat business model, an all-around super app that can grow into a social platform with 1 billion+ users in a single market. Will it become the focus of Musk’s next imitation? Unknown, the next story will have two endings: turning left will be the social media model of Web 2, while turning right will only lead to the decentralized social media of Web 3.

Will Musk’s freedom to Twitter go too far?

A well-regulated, free-speech, censorship-resistant Twitter might become a reality in Musk’s hands.

Succession, not revolution: Twitter is not ready for decentralization

Contrary to what everyone imagines, the Twitter that Musk wants to acquire has at least been in the field of Web 3.0 social media for more than three years. It is one of the first Silicon Valley companies to explore the crypto world, mainly thanks to its founder. Jack Dorsey’s enthusiasm for Bitcoin led to the initiation of research on decentralized social media protocols in 2019 and the launch of a Twitter-independent brand, Blue Sky.

Functionalizing external products internally is a proven conversion path that Twitter has explored successfully. That is to say, the Twitter that Musk took over is a Web 3 company that has already tried to transform, and is different from the radical policy of Meta (former Facebook), Twitter is more about functional attempts and gradual exploration of Web 3, such as the explosion in Clubhouse. After the fire, Twitter Space was launched, such as gradually increasing the NFT function of the paid version of Twitter Blue, and gradually releasing it to the general user group.


Different from the sensitivity of financial activities such as transactions, the display of NFT-related social images can be promoted relatively smoothly. It is expected that Musk will further enhance his attempts at social activity. The problem currently faced by Twitter is that the number of users is compared to Tik Tok, There are too few Instagram and Facebook, and the latter has a conservative number of users of 1 billion+ at least globally.

Musk’s initial vision is to de-censor and remove fake users. Musk has long been dissatisfied with Twitter’s censorship mechanism.

When it comes to clearing fake users, a social media running on the chain that requires Gas Fee to run is naturally resistant to fake users. Even simply raising the threshold can prevent large-scale fraud. The only thing that needs to be tortured is the regulatory authorities. Will Musk be allowed to do so.


From the perspective of Twitter founder Jack Dorsey, only Musk can complete the reconstruction of Twitter, and it is Musk’s own pursuit to recreate a “Crypto city square” for freedom of speech, and a Web 3 protocol-level public platform is the only solution to this problem.

The problem right now is that regulators won’t let Musk go, largely because of economic regulation and political regulation.

Economic regulation cannot bypass the SEC. As early as 2018, after Musk announced on Twitter that he would privatize Tesla at a price of $42 billion, he was hit hard by the SEC and finally escaped the disaster after paying a fine of $40 million. If Twitter wants to carry out Web 3 protocolization, it will inevitably encounter more scrutiny measures from the SEC, and this kind of scrutiny, after the Tornado Cash case, has also been added to the US Treasury Department.

Political regulation is a hot topic on Twitter. The unavoidable cases are Trump’s black user case and Twitter’s ban on Trump’s account. The former was finally ruled by the Supreme Court, and the latter was directly made by Twitter’s ban policy. It is difficult to comment on the twists and turns, but Musk There is still no direct solution. Trump can return, but what about the more radical and aggressive ones?

If you want to rescue Twitter from traditional capital, privatization is only the first step. Only DID, tokens, soul-bound tokens (SBT), decentralized storage and other supporting measures are embedded in Twitter to complete the return of data ownership. , Twitter’s Web 3 can really get on the right track.

Paying instead of advertising: Twitter’s possible tokenomics

The real problem with Musk building decentralized media is not Twitter itself, but the need for commercialization by funders and the fear that Musk will ban competitors for his own benefit.

In this merger, Sequoia provided $800 million, and Binance also provided $500 million in financial support. If Musk wants to strike a balance between the public platform and his own interests, then move towards a web-level 3 social protocol become almost the only option.


In Musk’s open letter to advertisers, he was mainly trying to appease them in order to stabilize Twitter’s only current source of cash flow. Even though Twitter is making frequent moves on NFTs and cryptocurrencies, the current Twitter revenue composition, More than 90% of the profit source is still advertising services, Web 3 is the future, but Web 2 is still a reality.

In the open letter, Musk said that his ideal of “hard-mouthed mother-in-law and daughter-in-law” is not to seek profit, but to create a more inclusive space for speech, so that the left and right groups can walk out of their echo chambers, bridge all different opinions, and make Twitter truly Become the carrier and utopia of freedom of speech.

What’s more, Twitter is still in a state of loss, and this trend continues to expand. Compared with Musk’s Tesla and Meta, Twitter’s profitability is not strong. In 2021 The loss has exceeded 200 million US dollars.

After Musk took over, he quickly fired the CEO and CFO, including Vijaya Gadde. It is estimated that the severance package will cost $200 million, which is equivalent to doubling the loss.

In Musk’s business history, another popular Tesla could not be profitable for many years. After he found a super factory in Shanghai, the stable production capacity finally allowed Tesla to rely on a low-price strategy to expand its user base and achieve A turning point in history.

This time, will Musk walk into the arms of Web3?

Unlike Jack Dorsey’s preference for Bitcoin, Musk prefers Dogecoin. It is grassroots and decentralized enough, and there is absolutely no possibility of Wall Street trading that he hates, but Dogecoin itself cannot run complex smart contracts. underlying logic.

If we want to move towards a free speech market that is resistant to censorship, some of Musk’s ideas are still worthy of our attention. The first is to rely on more token mechanisms to support the operation of Twitter, such as content on-chain, paid reading, etc. Under the letter and Twitter, someone proposed to share an incentive plan with top content creators, and Musk agreed.

On a larger scale, Twitter’s overall architecture needs to be reshaped. For example, continue to move forward with the plan to lay off 75% of employees, and give the positions vacated by fired executives to crypto-friendly people.

Maybe it’s not that complicated. In August, the turnover rate of Twitter was as high as 18.3%, that is, the scale of thousands of people. The remaining people have been screened for at least one round to some extent, and the remaining people chose to follow Musk. Towards an uncertain future, not to other Web 2 businesses.

You can imagine the future of Twitter, gradually switch from the network to a decentralized network, reduce the number of censors, and take a longer time to find ways to increase profit growth.

On a token-backed Twitter with nodes running on the public chain and data stored in a decentralized storage facility, Twitter is the only option to get rid of the advertising model. Even Musk’s preferred Dogecoin is still It can continue to be run on it as a tip fee.

Whether the fork of WeChat will actually happen, and whether Twitter will move towards a more open and free Web 3 social media protocol is unknown. Just as Musk moved the pool into the Twitter building: Let that sink in, let the bullet fly for a while.

Musk is good at creating miracles. Whether this time can reach a consensus between commercial profits and decentralization is also a rare social experiment. Whether blockchain technology can support the operation of hundreds of millions of products, let us wait and see!

Disclaimer: This content is the author’s independent opinion, does not represent the position of 0x Finance, and does not constitute investment advice. Please treat it with caution. If you need to report or join the exchange group, please contact WeChat: VOICE-V.

Source: PANews

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