Elon Musk wanted to build a blockchain based social media firm
The billionaire’s idea for a social media site where users would have to pay to post brief messages on a blockchain is revealed in a series of text texts made public as part of continuing lawsuit over the failed Twitter purchase. Elon Musk texted, “I think a new social media firm is needed that is built on a blockchain and involves payments,” only days before he made a $43 billion deal to purchase Twitter (TWTR) in April.
Twitter sued the CEO of Tesla (TSLA) over the contentious purchase, which has since fallen through, in an effort to pressure him. The billionaire’s messages, which were made public on Friday, provide some insight into the events leading up to the offer and what could have caused Musk to back out of the transaction. Musk is scheduled to give a deposition in October. The 40 pages of text communications covered the six months from January to June.
The messages feature a number of well-known entrepreneurs and prominent figures, including Joe Rogan, the controversial presenter of the podcast Joe Rogan, and angel investor Jason Calacanis, praising the billionaire’s intentions for the social network. Musk made a purchase bid for the social networking site because he thought it did not uphold free speech, endangering democracy. Text message conversations before the purchase announcement show Musk had blockchain in mind as a potential remedy for Twitter’s free expression issue.
Before Musk’s own blockchain speculations, novelist and philosopher William MacAskill texted him in March to say that internet entrepreneur Sam Bankman-Fried was also “possibly interested in buying” Twitter to make it “better for the world.” If Musk is interested in discussing a “joint endeavour in that direction,” MacAskill then provides SBF’s contact information.
“Blockchain prevents people from deleting tweets. Pros and cons, but let the games begin!” Kimbal said to Musk who had also called for Twitter to allow messages to be edited after being posted. Kimbal also suggests exploring a native digital token for Twitter that users will have to hold in a wallet to be able to post messages. The token “doesn’t have to be expensive,” Kimbal said, adding “it will grow over time in value.”