Twitter Introduces Bitcoin Tipping Via Lightning and Looks to NFTs in the Future

Kavya  |  Sep 24, 2021

Following reports earlier this month, social media site Twitter finally introduces its tipping feature globally – with a Bitcoin connection via the Lightning network included.

Twitter Introduces Bitcoin Tipping Via The Lightning Network

By selecting the feature, users may tip authors using third-party services such as CashApp, which is managed by Square, a payments business established by Jack Dorsey. 

However, to make revenue more accessible in areas where the currency is not readily available, users may also tip in Bitcoin.

The Bitcoin feature will use the Lightning Network, a layer-two solution chosen by the team for its cheaper transaction costs, according to product manager Esther Crawford. 

Users can allow the sending and receiving of Bitcoin tips by adding their Bitcoin lightning wallet or Bitcoin address. 

For the time being, the connection is only available to iOS users, but Crawford promises that Android will be available shortly.

Alessandro Paluzzi, a mobile developer, released a picture of a reverse-engineered version of Twitter's product earlier this month, revealing the beta for Lightning connection with Tips. 

In an explanation of his results, he stated that the integration will make use of the Lightning-focused app Strike. 

A Twitter official confirmed that the integration makes use of Strike.

According to Crawford, the Twitter product team is still investigating ways to facilitate payouts throughout the globe in various jurisdictions, but utilizing Bitcoin to tip mitigates this.

The Platform's Goal Is To Become A Center For Creators

"We want everyone to have access to routes to receive paid digital currency that encourage more people to engage in the economy and let individuals move money across borders with as little friction as possible," Crawford said at a news conference on Thursday.

Twitter would not publicly confirm Paluzzi's results at the time, but product developer Kayvon Beykpour quote tweeted the findings with the lightning and "soon" arrow emojis. 

Beykpour was also present at today's press conference and stated that Twitter's future focus would be on converting "fans into money." 

These features are especially aimed towards establishing Twitter as a platform that empowers artists.

Paluzzi has previously released pictures of interfaces that allowed users to add their Ethereum addresses to their accounts. 

Today's release just features a Lightning/Strike connection. No mention of Ethereum was made during the event, but a Twitter representative subsequently stated the team is looking into integrating other digital currencies with Tips and that there would be "more to come" in the future.

Crawford also stated that Twitter continues to investigate crypto integrations across its platforms.

"There's a lot of internal interest and conversation around how we can incorporate crypto throughout these different revenue capabilities," Crawford said during the event.

"There are other alternative possibilities that we don't currently have in place, but we're quite open to investigating them."

Taking A Look At NFTs

Twitter is also looking into blockchain-based technologies for use outside of monetization.

Crawford also mentioned that the team is in the early phases of researching non-fungible token (NFT) authentication. 

Users would immediately link their crypto wallets to their accounts to establish ownership of art creation. 

According to Crawford, this would convey legitimacy, and the integration would most likely include some type of provenance explanation.

To be clear, Twitter's NFT initiative is in its early phases. The aesthetics of the authentication have yet to be established, such as whether a badge will appear on an owner's profile or their NFT avatar would take on a new form.

"We're interested in essentially making it visually apparent that this is an authorized avatar and then giving you some fascinating facts and insight into the provenance of that NFT, so that's sort of where we're at today," Crawford explained.

Other non-crypto features, such as real-time filters to keep talks polite and user-moderated communities, are also on the way, according to the product team.

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