Tesla CEO Elon Musk has made a name for always speaking his mind and doing pretty much what he sees fit for global development. In a new venture for the billionaire, he appears to have moved into social media.
Musk purchased 9.2 percent of Twitter, becoming the social media platform’s largest shareholder. Now, his entry into the space has brought some massive questions.
Twitter’s New Landlord
According to a 13G filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Musk confirmed that he had purchased a 9.2 percent stake in Twitter. The purchase, which was reportedly worth $3 billion at the time, made Musk the highest single shareholder in Twitter. The billionaire even owns more Twitter stock than the platform’s founder, Jack Dorsey.
Musk’s purchase caused a massive jump in the price of Twitter’s stock. However, it also came with a caveat. Reports confirmed that as part of the terms of the deal, Musk is barred from outrightly purchasing Twitter. The billionaire is also barred from owning more than 4.9 percent of the company’s stock, either as an individual or as part of another entity.
Musk has been one of the highest-profile Twitter users over the past few years. However, this isn’t to say that the billionaire has always been happy with how the platform runs. Last month, he released a poll asking whether Twitter had rigorously adhered to the tenet of free speech. The overwhelming majority of users responded in the negative, leading some to even ask for Musk to build his own alternative to the social media platform.
Instead of building a Twitter alternative, Musk has simply decided to join the company. The billionaire has yet to put out a statement on his possible goal with this acquisition, but it seems rather obvious that he won’t just stay on the sidelines as a passive investor.
Musk could pursue some new endeavors now that he is Twitter’s biggest shareholder. He could ask for the reinstatement of some banned accounts (including that of former U.S. President Donald Trump), push for the addition of an edit button on the platform, and much more.
What Does Elon Have In Store?
However, it is also worth noting that Musk’s investment in Twitter could have implications for crypto. After the news of the investment broke out, Dogecoin’s price was set close to its two-month high. The leading meme coin has seen its price grow since then, although the market consolidation that happened last week eventually saw it erase some of those gains.
Musk - already an avid crypto enthusiast - could theoretically push for more crypto adoption from the social media platform as well. Twitter founder and former chief executive Jack Dorsey made waves when the social media platform integrated Bitcoin payments for its Tip Jar feature last year. However, Dorsey had one major point to make - he was (and still is) a believer in Bitcoin alone; nothing else.
Since Dorsey stepped down in December, there have been hopes that Twitter could integrate other cryptocurrencies. In February, these hopes came alive when Twitter allowed users to send Ethereum to themselves privately. Since then, it’s been pretty silent on its crypto initiatives. With Musk on the company’s board now, we could see a push towards Dogecoin.
Musk has been looking to usher in an age of Dogecoin payments for a while. Earlier this year, the billionaire made good on his word when Tesla’s official shop integrated DOGE for merchandise payments. The billionaire has also said that the company would accept DOGE as a payment channel for an upcoming supercharging station.
Musk has also been critical of some of Twitter’s crypto moves. When the social media giant introduced non-fungible token (NFT) profile pictures earlier this year, the billionaire criticized the company, claiming that it should instead spend engineering resources unblocking crypto spambot hackers.
For now, the extent of Musk’s influence on Twitter remains unknown. He is the company’s largest shareholder, so he’ll probably get a seat on its board. However, with the billionaire having limits on his stake, one can only assume that other limits would be put on his influence within the company. Still, there is a lot of excitement about what Twitter could do in the Elon Musk era.