Cryptocurrency Space Set for Disruption as ‘X’ Gears up to Be ‘Updated PayPal’

By Aaron Feuerstein October 03, 2023 In Elon Musk, Payments, X
Source: Adobe Stock

While the crypto market enjoyed a good start to the month of October, greater macro uncertainty looms. With the narrowly avoided U.S. Government Shutdown for now, other topics become more relevant to investors. There is the pending approval of Spot Bitcoin ETFs and the Futures Ethereum ETFs that began trading this week along with the Bitcoin halving in 2024.

But there is also Elon Musk and ‘X’. The Tesla CEO and owner of X has long been a supporter of cryptocurrencies and even admitted he holds Bitcoin, Ethereum and the meme coin Dogecoin. For some months now there has been talk about turning X into a payment app, potentially supported by crypto.

X in Financial Strife?

However, the financial health of X largely remains in the shadows as income from advertisement has plummeted since Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter last year and the recent rebranding into ‘X.’ Musk, who reportedly spent US $44 billion ($69.5 billion) on the platform, took out loans to the tune of US $13 billion ($20.6 billion).

According to the Financial Times, X CEO Linda Yaccarino will now meet bankers from Morgan Stanley, Bank of America, Barclays, and others on October 5 to discuss the financial future of the platform.

Advertisement

And the desperation for Musk’s platform is real. As one banker told the FT,

“They need ad dollars to come back.”

Unknown

X lost several advertisers since Musk bought the platform due to concerns about their image. Musk and Yaccarino are fierce promoters of freedom of speech, yet many believe harassment on the platform is out of control.

A few weeks ago, Yaccarino posted a video on X that showcased new features for the platform, including new ways to share content and engage with others. There was also a brief scene featuring payments, something Musk has been wanting to bring to the platform for a while. This goes hand in hand with Musk’s plans to turn X into an ‘everything’ app.

Back in August, X secured another licence for currency transmission activities which would technically allow X to handle virtual currency. This has led many to speculate that X will soon offer payments with crypto, if not even crypto trading.

Musk attempted to rename PayPal into ‘X’ in 2000 and, as early as back then, had ambitions of a payment platform that would handle electronic transfers, stock trades, and maybe even cryptocurrency if it had been around then.

Fox Business’ Charles Gasparino tweeted back in August that Musk was still in talks with Wall Street about a payment system like PayPal.

Only time will tell if Musk’s vision pays off. The billionaire is known for his bold visions and unwavering drive. However, not even Musk is immune to failure. In August he said on X, that there are currently no great social networks, adding, “We may fail, as so many have predicted, but we will try our best to make there be at least one.”

Aaron Feuerstein
Author

Aaron Feuerstein

Aaron Feuerstein is a freelance writer based in Melbourne. His focus is on decentralised finance and the regulatory space surrounding blockchain. He holds a Master's in Accounting. When he is not studying the latest legal case, he enjoys his time as a modest but eager hobby cook.

You may also like