Twitter’s app now allows users to ask for tips in Bitcoin, making it the first major social media platform to promote the cryptocurrency as a payment option. Users will be able to connect their crypto wallets and authenticate the ownership of NFTs they tweet using a special badge, according to the startup.
- New feature: Twitter has been testing tipping for a few months, but the feature won’t be broadly available until Thursday, when it will be available on iOS first, followed by Android. Aside from Bitcoin, Twitter will allow users to collect tips by connecting nine standard payment providers to their profiles, including Venmo and Cash App. The payments aren’t handled by Twitter.
- Wallet program: Strike, a Bitcoin wallet program that uses the Lightning Network protocol, facilitates the Bitcoin tips. Lightning is a Bitcoin transaction system that allows for faster and cheaper transactions. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, an ardent Bitcoin supporter who stated in June that it was “just a matter of time” before Twitter accepted payments over the protocol, has invested in the firm behind it.
- Legal: Strikes are legal in every state in the United States except New York and Hawaii, as well as in El Salvador. Twitter users will be able to add their Bitcoin addresses to their profiles in addition to their Strike usernames, which they can then copy and paste into their preferred crypto wallet to send tips.
- Notifications: Twitter’s app will notify someone when they receive a Bitcoin tip via Strike, letting them quickly reply to the tipper to say thanks or send an emoji reaction. Twitter will also generate invoices for creators to track the tips they receive. “Bitcoin represents one of the best solutions” for enabling people to transact in underbanked regions of the world, Esther Crawford, Twitter’s product lead for creator monetization, said.
- Crypto plans: Bitcoin isn’t the extent of Twitter’s crypto plans: the company said it is also planning to support authentication for NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, by letting people connect their crypto wallets. “NFT authentication will come in the form of a badge, shown on profile pictures, marking the owner’s NFT as authentic,” a company spokesperson said.