Bitcoin has climbed to its highest levels of the day...
...amid reports that Twitter - led by the outspoken crypto advocate Jack Dorsey - has enabled users around the world to "tip" their favorite accounts with bitcoin (though the functionality will only be available for iOS users at first). Previously, the tips feature was only available to a small number of users as part of a product test.
BREAKING: Twitter is launching Bitcoin Lightning Network tipping functionality on iOS.— Pomp 🌪 (@APompliano) September 23, 2021
Twitter announced on Thursday that its "tips" feature will roll out globally to all Apple iOS users this week, and will become available for Android users in the coming weeks.
According to CNBC, users previously could tip with fiat currency using traditional payment services like Square’s Cash app (Square is also led by Dorsey) and PayPal's Venmo. Twitter is integrating the Strike bitcoin lighting wallet service so creators can receive bitcoin tips, while users will be allowed to add their bitcoin address to their accounts in order to send and receive these cryptocurrency tips. Twitter says it won't take a cut of the "tips". Notably, Twitter's shares also climbed on the news, and were recently up 3% on the day.
Additionally, Twitter said Thursday that it is also experimenting with a feature that would allow users to "authenticate and showcase" their NFT collections on the social network (presently, NFT owners typically use screenshots of their purchases, which doesn't convey whether the user owns the NFT or not. Though Twitter didn't provide much detail or any specifics about the project.
"There’s this growing interest among creators to use apps that run on the blockchain," said Esther Crawford, a product executive building Twitter’s creator features. "We want to help creators participate in the promise of an evolving decentralized internet directly on Twitter."
Dorsey is one of the Valley's biggest bitcoin boosters. He once said he felt bitcoin would help bring about "world peace". And while the tip feature probably won't achieve such lofty aims, it will help struggling "creators" to raise money while creating an actual payments use case for bitcoin.
The "tips" feature is the latest effort by Twitter to help its power users to monetize their efforts. It also recently introduced "super following", where users can pay to see special "subscriber-only" content.
News organizations will no doubt be keeping a close eye on Dorsey's experiment with tips, as micro payments have been bandied about as a potential savior for the collapsing digital media industry.