Twitter is enabling the ability to ask for tips in Bitcoin through its app, making it the first major social network to embrace the cryptocurrency as a payment method. The company also plans to let users connect their crypto wallets and verify ownership of NFTs they tweet with a special badge.
Tips recently leaked into Twitter’s app code, but the company didn’t make tips available until Thursday, when the feature rolls out globally on iOS and Android will follow. In addition to Bitcoin, Twitter lets users connect nine traditional payment providers, including Venmo and Cash App, to their profiles to accept tips. Twitter does not process the payments itself.
The Bitcoin tips are powered by Strike, a Bitcoin wallet app that runs on the Lightning Network protocol. Lightning is designed to enable faster and cheaper transactions with Bitcoin. The company behind it has received funding from Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, an avid supporter of Bitcoin who tweeted in June, it was “only a matter of time” before Twitter supported payments via Lightning.
Strike operates in all US states except New York and Hawaii and the country of El Salvador. Twitter users can also add their Bitcoin address to their profile, which people can then copy and paste into their crypto wallet of choice to send tips.
At a press conference Thursday, Twitter said it also planned to support authentication for NFTs, or non-functioning tokens, by allowing people to connect their crypto wallets.
“NFT authentication comes in the form of a badge, shown on profile photos, that marks the owner’s NFT as authentic,” a company spokesperson said. NFTs have recently become extremely popular as a way to buy and trade digital art on the Ethereum blockchain.
This story develops…