Twitter users will finally be able to send and receive BTC tips using Lightning Network. The platform will also add a feature to authenticate NFTs.
After rumors earlier this month, Twitter is officially rolling out a new Bitcoin tipping feature via Lightning Network. iOS users have the feature available worldwide.
The social media giant reported that users with devices running Apple's operating system would be able to connect the cryptocurrency tipping feature to their Twitter profile starting this Thursday. iOS users will send and receive Bitcoin tips using Lightning Network, a layer two solution that speeds up and reduce Bitcoin transaction costs.
Soon, Android users will get the new feature, company representatives promised on a press call, though they did not mention anything about launching on the web version. While Twitter did not provide a timeline for the launch, its executives also previewed to the news media other developments coming down the pipeline for the platform.
NFT, crypto tips, and more
In the press call, Twitter previewed that they are working on adding non-fungible token (NFT) verification features to the platform, an essential step in the evolution of the digital art trend. Many have begun posting NFTs as avatars for their profile pictures, including artist Jay-Z, who displays a CryptoPunk on his account.
The NFT authentication feature will allow Twitter users to directly connect their cryptocurrency wallets to their accounts to prove ownership of an artwork, conveying authenticity. The integration would likely also contain some provenance explanation, commented product manager Esther Crawford.
News outlet The Block quoted Crawford's statements on the development:
"We're interested and interested in somehow making it clear visually that this is an authenticated avatar and then giving you interesting information and insights into the provenance of that NFT, so that's where we are today."
Among the other non-crypto advances, Twitter executives also indicated plans for more automated content monitoring, more options for users to control their experience on the site. They're also planning a "Spaces Fund" to give a jump-start to creators who want to use enhanced audio features and pursue a long-term Twitter monetization strategy.
Twitter's plans with Bitcoin
The launch of Bitcoin tips and the NFT plans are part of a larger strategy by the company to offer people around the world new payment and monetization alternatives for their content. In this regard, the service will use third-party payment processors, such as the Strike app. Twitter stated that it would not handle funds directly or charge a fee for payments made on the platform.
"We're using Bitcoin to make tweeting someone as easy as sending money to someone else anywhere in the world, anytime," Strike CEO Jack Mallers said while giving an interview to CNBC News Channel.
Twitter's new functionality allows bitcoin to be sent and received quickly and inexpensively by integrating with Strike, a wallet application based on the Lightning network.
"A funds transfer through Western Union can take up to eight days. But the dollars I currently have in my pocket can reach any country in the world in less than a second, and to do so, it must be natively digital. That's the innovation that bitcoin offers. It's the first money in human history to enable that, and it works all over the world, doing for money what the Internet did for communication." Jack Mallers, CEO of Strike.
Twitter will now include linking addresses from the main Bitcoin network and the Lightning Network of payment channels. For that reason, the Strike founder spoke of the need to highlight the benefits that the Bitcoin network offers because it allows users to send funds across borders like no other existing payment network does today.
"Additionally, we are using the infrastructure of this network to achieve a better payment gateway than that offered by Visa and all of these monetary networks, the old and expensive legacy networks that exist today," Mallers explained.
The entrepreneur and developer also invited others to follow Twitter's example. He believes that as more participants join Bitcoin, "the world's first open monetary network," services like Strike and all those in the industry will be increasingly valued by users.
Mallers believes the world needs to break ties with the traditional financial system and payment networks, which he labeled obsolete. According to him, with the step Twitter has taken, other Internet services and more companies will soon begin to integrate with the decentralized Bitcoin network because it offers the most innovation.
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey had strongly foreshadowed the move, writing in June that it was "only a matter of time" before Lighting payments integration into Twitter in some form. More recently, mobile developer Alessandro Paluzzi leaked an image of Twitter's product development showing the beta version of the Lightning integration.
Today's announcement confirms some of Paluzzi's previous findings. Twitter users can tip creators through Square, a CashApp service. They will also connect their Lightning bitcoin wallet or Bitcoin address to take advantage of the functionality.