Illustration by Mitchell Preffer for Decrypt
Like the rest of tech Twitter, crypto Twitter spent most of this week obsessed with Elon Musk’s will-he-or-won’t-he-buy-the-platform saga. On Monday, the microblogging giant accepted Musk’s $44 billion takeover bid.
That put El Salvador’s authoritarian president, Nayib Bukkele, in a festive mood. Like Musk, Bukele is bullish on Bitcoin—so much so that he made it legal tender in El Salvador last summer. (Research published this week suggests Salvadorans haven’t embraced the currency as much as he’d hoped.)
Elon Musk acaba de comprar Twitter 🥳
— Nayib Bukele (@nayibbukele) April 25, 2022
Ethereum CEO Vitalik Buterin was less celebratory. He warned his followers that Twitter was beginning to feel like an Elon Musk echo chamber, although he later clarified he wasn’t throwing shade on the Tesla CEO.
The largest consequence of Elon taking over Twitter may well be not any specific policy decision he makes, but rather the morale effect of his supporters feeling emboldened and his detractors feeling like they are arguing on enemy territory. This is happening already.
— vitalik.eth (@VitalikButerin) April 30, 2022
Twitter co-founder and former CEO Jack Dorsey was in a Radiohead kinda mood at the news. Now focused on his blockchain-pivoting payments company Block, he took a break to tweet his support, calling Musk “the singular solution I trust.”
Elon’s goal of creating a platform that is “maximally trusted and broadly inclusive” is the right one. This is also @paraga’s goal, and why I chose him. Thank you both for getting the company out of an impossible situation. This is the right path…I believe it with all my heart.
— jack⚡️ (@jack) April 26, 2022
Before leaving Twitter in November, Dorsey proposed creating a decentralized standard for social media platforms. In 2019, he funded an initiative called “Bluesky,” led by Twitter’s then-CTO Paral Agrawal, to work toward this goal.
In August 2021, Dorsey tapped Jay Graber, creator of events social network Happening, to take over as project lead from Agrawal, who became Twitter’s CEO after Dorsey’s departure.
Graber confirmed the next day that Musk’s takeover changes nothing. Bluesky’s official Twitter account also reiterated the project’s independence.
I’ve been running Bluesky as a funded org for four months. I’ve never worked for Twitter. I don’t know what’s going on with Elon any more than you do. But I’ve hired a few people and we’re staying the course. https://t.co/0qPSIMWv3s
— Jay Graber (@arcalinea) April 26, 2022
On Thursday, Musk did some public brainstorming.
Twitter DMs should have end to end encryption like Signal, so no one can spy on or hack your messages
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 28, 2022
MicroStrategy CEO and fellow Bitcoin HODLer Michael Saylor pitched in with an idea to disincentivize spambots.
Most of my incoming DMs seem to be bots & spam. If there was a small charge to send these messages, and a security deposit (“Orange Check”) required to verify the trustworthiness of the sender, messaging would be far more useful and @twitter would have a new source of revenue.
— Michael Saylor⚡️ (@saylor) April 28, 2022
Musk must have felt like a bigger winner than Charlie Sheen that day. Not content with running merely Twitter, Tesla, and SpaceX, he briefly pondered adding a global beverage producer to his growing portfolio.
Next I’m buying Coca-Cola to put the cocaine back in
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 28, 2022
Earlier today, Marc Andreessen, the co-founder of tech VC firm Andreessen Horowitz, tweeted a video of Warren Buffet laying into Bitcoin. Musk thought it made a pretty ironic ad.
Haha he says “Bitcoin” so many times
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 1, 2022
Welcome to the jungle
The Bored Ape Yacht Club ecosystem was another popular topic on crypto Twitter this week. On Monday, the project’s official Instagram page was hacked and used to scam $2.8 million in NFTs from followers.
🚨There is no mint going on today. It looks like BAYC Instagram was hacked. Do not mint anything, click links, or link your wallet to anything.
— Bored Ape Yacht Club (@BoredApeYC) April 25, 2022
Still, a multimillion dollar hack did little to derail the rapidly expanding BAYC franchise. On Tuesday, the Twitter team for Otherside—the BAYC-inspired metaverse project—announced a drop of 55,000 “Otherdeed” NFTs on Saturday.
The Otherside adventure will begin on 4/30 at 12pm ET, only on https://t.co/UWRD4dOC9H. The KYC on https://t.co/mbSVzDX9tp was to participate in Saturday’s mint — only those who KYCed can participate. More details in the 🧵.
— OthersideMeta (@OthersideMeta) April 25, 2022
The NFTs sold out in 24 hours. While their purpose in the upcoming metaverse isn’t entirely clear, many believe them to be virtual land deeds for the game.
The Otherdeed NFT mint is sold out – we are awestruck at the demand shown tonight. Apes and Mutants, the opening of the 21-day claim period is being delayed until the price of gas drops to reasonable levels. We’ll tweet when the claim opens. https://t.co/iRz64lklbv
— OthersideMeta (@OthersideMeta) May 1, 2022
Crypto investor DCinvestor.eth remarked on the eye-watering amount of Ether getting burned in gas fees by the project.
for context, for those blocks where we are hitting 200 ETH burned,
that is roughly $550K worth of ETH burned every ~12 seconds
— DCinvestor.eth ⌐◨-◨ (@iamDCinvestor) May 1, 2022
The week wasn’t entirely about BAYC and Musk though. An account called @cryptofelon on Thursday posted the unique story of how they bought a crypto domain for $16 and then negotiated its sale for more than $400,000 after initially receiving a $500 offer.
how i bought a crypto domain for $16,
told a multi-billion dollar CEX to kick rocks,
and negotiated my way from a $500 offer to selling it for half a million dollars:
— cryptofelon (@cryptofelon) April 28, 2022
On Saturday, crypto blogger Wong Joon Lan alerted us to the plight of Malaysian NFT artist Fahmi Reza, whose biting satire of Malaysian royalty has previously gotten him arrested. Now Reza found his fundraising website has been blocked by DNS tampering from multiple Malaysian Internet Service Providers.
hey @CoinDesk @decryptmedia @crypto you should write about this. an artist in malaysia is fundraising with NFTs for his legal defence fund and malaysian ISPs are blocking his website. https://t.co/VfPHyDfqlm
— Wong Joon Ian (@joonian) April 30, 2022
No doubt Crypto Twitter will throw up plenty of surprises in time for next week’s column. One thing is certain though: We haven’t heard the last from Musk. Will Musk’s beloved DOGE actually become Twitter’s native currency?
“Sure,” said another crypto-savvy billionaire, “why not DOGE?”