Twitter decentralization gains traction after Musk bid to take over microblogging site

KEY POINTS

  • Musk offers to buy Twitter
  • Twitter has yet to respond to Musk’s latest and final offer
  • A decentralized Twitter has been offered since 2008

Elon Musk’s bid to take over Twitter had little effect on its stock price, but it has fueled a heated debate over the fate of the microblogging site, with some suggesting the social media platform is decentralized.

In response to tweets about Musk’s bid to buy Twitter, Sam Bankman-Fried, CEO of cryptocurrency exchange FTX, suggested that decentralizing social media could be good for its bottom line. The executive provided some details so that users know what a decentralized Twitter would look like.

Bankman-Fried said: “Tweets are chained, encrypted; the sender chooses who has access to them (i.e. who can decrypt them). In a way, this unifies DMs and tweets. ” It also showed how the social media platform can be monetized which apart from the tweets level would also include adding display ads to the UI monetization level.

Twitter said official Russian accounts would no longer be “recommended” to users in all categories of the app, including searches. Photo: AFP / Kirill KUDRYAVTSEV

Twitter’s decentralization means that all of its data would be moved to a public blockchain, giving users discretion to moderate communities and removing the burden of deciding what content should be banned from the company. Bankman-Fried said decentralization would be good for the company’s bottom line and estimated that his suggestions would earn Twitter around $300 million a year.

“Would that democratize social media, make finances transparent, and remove single-point-of-failure moderation? Yeah,” Bankman-Fried wrote. He also noted that it wouldn’t be “that difficult” to build and if there was “enough demand, we *would* do it, fast”.

Venture capitalist Fred Wilson, one of Twitter’s earliest investors in 2007, also reacted to Musk’s statement. offer to buy the company. Wilson believes “Twitter is too big to be owned and controlled by one person,” and as Bankman-Fried suggested, “Twitter should be decentralized as a protocol that powers an ecosystem of communication products and services.”

Binance CEO Changpeng Zao supported Twitter’s decentralization and suggested, “Privatize it, issue a token, decentralize it. Blue tick cost per account to reduce spam/scam. NFT, metaverse.”

In 2008, the chief architect of Twitter Blaine Cook considered a decentralized social platform, but other employees rejected it. Ironically, the company hired BlueSky in 2021 to spearhead its decentralized social media project. Currently, CEO Parag Agrawal has started decentralization within the company and has hired crypto developers and prioritized related projects.

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