July 21, 2024

Will payment options on X include crypto? Elon Musk tells Cathie Wood: ‘I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about cryptocurrency’

Elon Musk

Elon Musk said payments could be coming to X, formerly Twitter, by mid-2024. Antonio Masiello—Getty Images

Elon Musk says he’s close to launching payments on X, but despite longtime speculation that those options would include cryptocurrencies, the Dogecoin aficionado suddenly seems a bit “meh” on that idea.

The Tesla founder and PayPal alum has been steadily working to incorporate payments into the social network as part of a mission to create an “everything app” ever since he bought the company. A report by the Financial Times claimed in January that although X would start with traditional payments, crypto would later become a priority.

In an interview this week on X Spaces with Ark Invest CEO Cathie Wood, Musk said payments could be added to X, formerly Twitter, by mid-2024, but that his interest in crypto was fading. 

“I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about cryptocurrency—hardly any at all,” he said.

Musk went on to laud the current monetary system, saying that money is essentially just a “database for resource allocation” and that fiat currency worked fine for this purpose as long as governments didn’t meddle too much.

The apparent shift away from crypto is surprising for Musk, who has often tweeted memes about Dogecoin, the cryptocurrency he “personally supports,” that have sent the token soaring. In April ,the Twitter logo was even temporarily replaced by the Dogecoin logo, sending the price of the cryptocurrency up 20% in half an hour.

Tesla, another Musk firm, also has a big stake in crypto. As of the third quarter, the electric vehicle company had just over $184 million worth of Bitcoin on its balance sheet, although that amount has remained unchanged for several quarters.

Although it is unclear what payments on X will look like, the plan to take the app beyond its social networking roots are well underway. The company has already received money transmitter licenses in several U.S. states, which would let it introduce payment services.

X’s revenue has fallen in recent months as advertisers have been put off by controversial content and Musk’s own public comments. Still, the company has much to gain from adding payments, for which it would get a cut of each transaction. Musk estimates that the new service could bring in $1.3 billion annually to the social network.

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