X, formerly Twitter, acquired the license required for it to provide Bitcoin, crypto payments, and trading services in the U.S. But some people are worried about the potential implications, particularly for a platform with a history of being targeted by scammers.
According to data from the Nationwide Multi-State Licensing System (NMLS), X’s currency transmitter license was approved on Aug. 28 by regulators from Rhode Island, a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States.
X to rollout crypto payments
Getting a currency transmitter license is a regulatory requirement for any company that deals with Bitcoin or crypto-related services. With the license, X is now able to add a feature that lets its millions of users hold, send, and receive crypto directly on the site.
Elon Musk, who bought Twitter for $44 billion in October last year, dreams of transforming X into an “everything app,” just like the Chinese social media app WeChat. The Tencent-owned app is used for messaging, payments, subscriptions, utility bills, food deliveries, and more.
The new license means that Musk is one step closer to achieving that goal for X. Twitter has been gradually incorporating crypto into its platform, such as by adding a way for users to tip each other with Bitcoin and allowing them to use non-fungible tokens (NFTs) as their profile pictures.
Twitter was acquired by X Corp both to ensure freedom of speech and as an accelerant for X, the everything app. This is not simply a company renaming itself, but doing the same thing.
The Twitter name made sense when it was just 140 character messages going back and forth – like…
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 25, 2023
“You basically live on WeChat in China because it’s so usable and helpful to daily life, and I think if we can achieve that, or even get close to that at Twitter, it would be an immense success,” Musk previously told employees.
X’s upcoming feature will initially support only fiat currency payments, CoinTelegraph reports, citing sources with knowledge of the matter. However, owner Musk has tasked developers to build Twitter’s payments system in a way that supports crypto integration in the future, it says.
To date, X has acquired currency transmitter licenses in seven U.S. states, including Michigan, Missouri, New Hampshire, Arizona, Georgia, and Maryland, which were all approved in early July.
Users worried about scammers
Some people expressed concern about X’s plans to add cryptocurrency payments, citing the platform’s history of being used by scammers to defraud users. Scammers have often used the faces of influential people like Elon Musk to steal from unsuspecting people on X.
“With the millions of cryptocurrency scammers on here, what could go wrong?” said one user in response to a tweet about X obtaining the license.
With the millions of crypto scammers on here what could go wrong
— PPPGrifter_TheOcho (@PPP_TheOcho8) August 29, 2023
“Cryptocurrency bots are going to proliferate to even higher levels than it seems,” cautioned @SixSigmaCapital.
Others are worried that crypto integration could lead to more regulatory demands for people who prefer anonymity.
“Is everybody aware that this will bring KYC [know-your-customer] to X just saying…” said @0xgordoco.
Several other people are excited about the prospect, particularly for DOGE, the popular memecoin backed by Elon Musk. They believe DOGE will be one of those digital assets to be added to X for payments.