Newly minted Twitter owner Elon Musk isn’t letting up on his migraine-inducing grievances about bots consuming his Twitter feed. Now, less than one day into his ownership, he’s reportedly decided to offload part of that pesky problem to one of the biggest names in crypto.
Binance, the massive crypto exchange that reportedly invested $500 million towards Musk’s Twitter takeover, says it will work with the social media company to explore how crypto and blockchain technologies could be used to reduce bot prevalence online.
Binance explained its early plans to work with Twitter in a statement sent to crypto publication Decrypt. The company said it’s creating an internal team to, “focus on ways that blockchain and crypto could be helpful to Twitter and [is] actively brainstorming plans and strategies that could help Elon Musk realize his vision.” The spokesperson hypothesized Binance could potentially build “on-the-chain” solutions to address the proliferation of bots. Binance is apparently “in the early stages” and still trying to figure out a plan, which could mean they have the inklings of any idea or could really mean absolutely nothing at all.
Binance did not immediately respond to Gizmodo’s request for comment.
The Binance partnership extends Musk’s months-long complaint over bots on the platform, which he attempted to use as an excuse to back out of the $44 billion deal to purchase the company. After initially agreeing to the deal, Musk got cold feet and tried to claim Twitter hadn’t actually provided enough details regarding the actual number of bots on the platform compared to real people. He claimed the prevalence of bots, which has been widely known by just about anyone using the platform for years, amounted to a “clear material breach” of the merger agreement. Twitter caved and gave Musk unprecedented amounts of user data to verify the bot figures for himself, and then presented him with even more data but obviously none of that was enough.
Twitter eventually sued Musk for trying to bail on his legally binding deal with them. Things only got worse for Musk after that. During their trial with Musk, Twitter’s lawyers submitted legal fillings deriding Musk’s claims about the bots, “factually inaccurate, legally insufficient, and commercially irrelevant.”
“Musk invents representations Twitter never made and then tries to wield, selectively, the extensive confidential data Twitter provided him to conjure a breach of those purported representations,” Twitter’s lawyers wrote. “Yet Musk simultaneously and incoherently asserts that Twitter breached the merger agreement by stonewalling his information requests,” the social media company continued.”
Now Musk’s left owning a struggling social media company that we don’t know whether he actually wanted in the first place. Bots and all.
Though Twitter’s certainly not a “crypto” company by any measure of the word, it’s not totally removed from the concept either. In 2019, under former CEO Jack Dorsey’s leadership, the company began work on Bluesky, a so-called “decentralized social media platform” that, in theory, would allow multiple social media platforms to operate on the same standard. Dorsey, who was officially kicked out of Twitter earlier this year, joined Bluesky’s board of directors back in February. Last year Twitter officially created an internal crypto team which was tasked with exploring Bitcoin tips, opportunities for monetization through NFTs, and other areas. Twitter also recently let paid subscribers add NFT’s as their profile photos.