The news, revealed by Jane Manchu Wong, of the “Coins” project that the Twitter teams seem to be working on, indicates that the convergence between social networks and digital currencies will be increasingly marked. Because remember the income coins where the bit of Twitch, whose systems are already functional on these platforms. But Twitter does not expect its digital currency to be based on blockchain technology. Yet the locations of Musk seemed to show a willingness to use it. How, then, does a digital currency differ from a real cryptocurrency and why are they so interested in social networks?
Soon “Twitter Coins”?
This was revealed on January 5 by computer security researcher Jane Manchun Wong; Her job, as she describes it in her LinkedIn bio, consists of:
Look into the hidden details of mobile apps and websites to know how they work. If I find security vulnerabilities, without always sharing them publicly, I disclose them through the appropriate channels.
Through her Twitter account, she published his findings.
We especially learn that the bluebird engineers are working on the in-app purchase page which will let its users to get its famous “Corners” ; the latter will have to go through Stripe, an online payment processing platform.
In addition, JM Wong, placing new information in his Twitter feed, detailed some characteristics of a novelty associated with “Coins”, the “Press Twitter”. These can be purchased using “Coins” and then awarded to people whose tweets seem, in the eyes of Internet users, to deserve a monetary reward. Their prices range from one “coin” for “1 Mind Blown” to 5,000 coins for a “Gold” mention. Of course, these “coins” and trophies can be converted into trust money. It will be necessary, a priori, that their Twitter currency sum equals at least $50 to make a withdrawal.
According to BFM.TV, no other information has been leaked. Therefore, we do not yet know the value that one of these “Coins” will have, nor what percentage the blue bird intends to catch. Because it is certain that this innovation fits profitability strategy wanted by Elon Musk, who, by acquiring the social network, has at the same time scared off a series of advertisers (the new boss’s actions are divisive to say the least), traditionally central to the economic models of social networks.
Reddit and Web3
In May 2020, Reddit launched beta versions of cryptocurrencies, Moons and Bricks. This was part of the feature rollout Reddit Community Points (RCP)thought of as a means of remunerate the millions of creators who contribute content to the platform’s subreddits. Unlike Twitter’s “coins,” whose system is powered by payment service provider Stripe, Reddit’s coins work using Ethereum blockchain technology; a big difference. And then this essential difference that makes a digital currency, or not, a true cryptocurrency. Is it blockchain-based? You can rest assured that it is strictly speaking a cryptocurrency. If it is not, it is a digital token system with a fiat currency value, and this system is centralized by its owner; in our case Twitter. Because let’s remember that one of the essential characteristics of cryptocurrencies is theirs decentralization ; notion to which the giants of social networks and the internet seem alien, and truthful keystone of the Web3 architecture. The latter allows, among other advantages, Internet users to have better control of their data, the digital gold of our century whose trade has made GAFAM’s fortunes.
In the summer of 2022, Reddit launched a collection, developed in collaboration with several digital artists, of 44,000 NFTs of avatars which can be used as a profile photo by Internet users. Implemented on Polygon (MATIC), one of the most popular second-tier solutions deployed on the Ethereum network, the “Avatar Collectible Reddit” they were a resounding success. First of all because the purchase – prices range from 10 to 100 dollars – of these avatars was made directly through the Reddit mobile application, then because the platform bore all the mint costs (all transactions on the Ethereum network are paid) and finally, because it has been careful not to scare its Internet users into talking about NFTs, opting for a more subtle linguistic element: digital collectibles. As for the solution to allow users to hold a digital wallet, the gateway to web3 that will give them access to their avatar, Reddit has made a masterstroke. There’s no need to complicate things with technical terms that could hurt your business: the words “wallet”, “seedphrase” or “crypto” don’t appear anywhere. Users just had to create, on the Reddit application, a Reddit repositorysave their sentence of twelve random words and voila, as simple as that.
Encouraged by the success of this first sale, the American site has repeated the operation. Four more collections have been launched with a much higher number of NFT avatars. In October 2022, Reddit product manager Pali Bhat revealed this over 3 million Polygon wallets have been created by Reddit users through the “Reddit Vault”. On December 3rd, a new daily record was set: more than 250,000 NFTs of avatars minted, surpassing the previous peak, which had registered just over 200,000. A few weeks later, the total number of avatars passed the 5 million mark, with over 4.25 million unique wallets containing at least one NFT. This is how Reddit surpassed OpenSea, one of the largest NFT marketplaces, in the total number of users owning NFTs.
Today, according to Dune data, there are 8,413,821 Reddit NFTs in circulationand the total revenue generated from the sale of these collectible avatars amounts to more than $12 million. The number of people owning it reaches 6,058,800. What does it do Reddit is one of the main vectors of adoption of these new technologies that web3 understands, even if most users of the platform are unaware that they use them.
The Telegram case
Telegram, the instant messaging network created by brothers Pavel and Nikolai Durov, has developed its own blockchain. Title Telegram Open Network (TON), this second generation blockchain facilitates fast and cheap transactions as well as the creation of smart contracts and decentralized applications. TON’s development was funded by an ICO held in 2018, which raised a total of $1.7 billion. However, the establishment of TON was hampered by legal disputes with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of the United States, which eventually led to the cancellation of the launch of the blockchain.
However, some developers decided to continue the project independently, renaming it “The Open Network” (TON). It’s about a open source version of the original TON blockchain, which is now developed and maintained by a community of independent developers. Users can use their own node to validate transactions and become validators or use the services of a third-party validator. Tokens purchased during the Telegram ICO can be used to pay transaction fees on the TON blockchain.
In October 2022, Telegram launched a new service in partnership with The Open Network which allows its users to buy and sell their usernames through auctions. These take place on a third-party site called Fragment, a platform that facilitates the transaction of collectibles between users. The company said ownership of collectible usernames is protected in the immutable ledger of the TON blockchain.
In a message to its users, Telegram said:
For the first time in the history of social networks, people have full ownership of their usernames. Long-time Telegram users who used short usernames that they signed up for in advance can now benefit from the growth of the platform by selling their usernames in fair, transparent and fully decentralized auctions.
TON, whose stated goal is to accelerate the mass adoption of blockchain-enabled technologies, touts its unique network architecture which it claims outperforms its direct competitors in terms of performance and design.
At the moment these lines are written, YOURS counts exactly 1,955,782 accounts created on its networkfor a total of over 100 million transactions operated.