On March 7th 2019, Twitter founder and CEO Jack Dorsey has posted a tweet about acquiring a Trezor hardware wallet via CashApp (a mobile payment tool developed by his company Square). The announcement is accompanied by a screenshot which displays the BTC amount that he spent, and this new sign of Bitcoin bullishness has been applauded by more than a thousand enthusiasts in less than an hour.
This isn’t the first time that Mr. Dorsey has expressed appreciation for Satoshi Nakamoto’s invention. A couple of days prior to this latest tweet, the Twitter creator has appeared on Marty Bent’s podcast “Tales from the Crypt” and revealed that he buys $10.000 worth of BTC every week. Another memorable contribution that we saw recently from Jack involves publicly joining the #stackingsats movement, thus announcing that he is among the many bitcoin hoarders.
This is great news all around, as the Twitter and Square CEO possesses the means to take Bitcoin to the next level of mainstream adoption: he has over 4 million followers (some of whom are celebrities and influential figures) on the social media platform that he created, and he is involved in integrating the Lightning network into his mobile payment solution (CashApp already supports BTC, as displayed below).
— jack (@jack) March 7, 2019
A clash of philosophies: Bitcoin vs Facebook coin
While Mark Zuckerberg is concerned with creating a new coin in order to make it a part of the Facebook ecosystem (which also includes WhatsApp, Instagram, and Oculus), Jack Dorsey embraces the time-tested, resilient, and most decentralized solution available.
The difference of philosophies is even more striking when you realize that Facebook has a long history of demanding for KYC data in order to verify its users and close down pseudonymous accounts, while Twitter allows users to participate in discussions and voice opinions without such requirements. Ultimately, it comes down to enabling confidentiality and empowering unpopular opinions or ugly truths to be voiced without fear of social repercussions. And this cypherpunk ideal of privacy as a supreme value is part of the Bitcoin culture which Mr. Dorsey is steadily embracing.
It’s going to be interesting to see how this divide evolves over time, and if openness and decentralization wins over excessive control on all fronts (including adoption, which is crucial for the future of payments). Though Facebook coin is no threat to Bitcoin and doesn’t fulfil the censorship-resistance criterion, it can divert the attention of casual users who simply require quick transfers and would have probably looked into Lightning otherwise.
Jack Dorsey, bona fide Bitcoin advocate
At this point, Jack Dorsey’s advocacy for Bitcoin has become frequent, ardent, and more advanced in terms of exploring the offerings of the community and space. He has posted a picture of his new Casa node, he bragged about buying a Trezor via CashApp, and also went on record to announce that he’s buying $10.000 worth of BTC every month.
Something special must have happened on the evening of February 5th 2019, when he took the Lightning Trust Chain torch from bitcoiner Matt Odell, then proceeded to publicly tweet about the event by using the #BitcoinTwitter hashtag. The event, which was also documented in a previous Crypto Insider article, was part of a sustained pro-Bitcoin and pro-Lightning campaign by the social media pioneer.
Cool example of #BitcoinTwitter experimenting on the Lightning Network.
— jack (@jack) February 5, 2019
From that point on, it all turned into a sustained fiesta of positive statements regarding Bitcoin and its status as the internet’s native currency. As publicly declared by Mr. Dorsey, BTC is also the only cryptocurrency that the holds. Furthermore, we were also delighted to find out that Lightning Network integration in Square is a matter of “when”, not “if”. And if none of this is convincing enough in terms of reaching to a no-coiner audience, then you should also take into consideration Jack’s appearance on the Joe Rogan show, where he declared that Bitcoin is the native currency of the internet.
Jack pumping his Lightning bags is still better than Zuck minting his own coins
While all of these are valuable contributions that are worthy of praise, we shouldn’t forget an essential aspect: Jack Dorsey has invested a lot of money in Lightning Labs and it’s in his best interest for the technology to catch on, so he can integrate it on the platforms that he owns. He doesn’t believe in Bitcoin just because he is ideologically connected to Satoshi’s invention, but because he expects greater financial returns.
However, this is perfectly fine and in line with many contributions in the space. Arguably, Mr. Dorsey’s contributions to Bitcoin have been greater than those of Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong (at least in recent years, since the American exchange has started to support both BTC contentious forks and questionable altcoins that might turn out to be securities). Wanting an investment of yours to succeed and promoting it on every channel is something that all venture capitalists do, and it’s even better than buying a cryptocurrency and then trying to pump your own bags via announcements.
But unlike Mark Zuckerberg who wants to create something that he can control, Jack Dorsey invests in open source protocols that can and will be used by lots of other companies in the future. The founder of Twitter knows the importance of being among the first players on a market, as it’s these early phases that establish standards. Every Lightning-friendly that steps into the scene will have learned lessons from Square, and will be compared to the previous implementation.
As an early adopter and believer in Bitcoin and Lightning, Jack Dorsey is worthy of all praise. While Twitter as a platform may not please social and political advocates from all sides of the debate, it embraces the future of money and payments in a visionary way. We shouldn’t be surprised if a service like Tippin.me gets integrated as an official feature, or if @jack’s tweets about BTC become more frequent. As Lightning matures and reaches a more advanced stage of adoption, the early investments start paying. And from that moment on, we might just step into a new era of monetary sovereignty. Well, either that or we get enslaved by an Orwellian currency created by Mark Zuckerberg.
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons