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What Does Jack Dorsey Leaving Twitter Mean for Bitcoin?

On November 29th, 2021, infamous tech-CEO Jack Dorsey resigned from his post as CEO of Twitter.

The eponymous @jack served 16 years at the company and filled the role of co-founder, CEO, Chairman, Executive Chairman, interim-CEO, and finally CEO again (in that order).

The massive shake-up is still reverberating throughout the business world and the crypto community, in particular, is wondering what it means for Twitter, Bitcoin and crypto in general.

What will Jack Dorsey do now that he has resigned from Twitter?

He wrote an internal letter to his team and posted it on Twitter. Here’s a taste:

The first reason that now was the right time to move on to greener pastures is Jack’s trust in the incoming CEO Parag Argawahl. The board unanimously voted for his successor, who has been involved in every major decision that influenced the significant growth of Twitter. He knows (believes) he’s leaving the ship with a good captain.

The second, Bret Taylor agreeing to become board chair. Not only does Jack have faith in the incoming CEO, but he is confident he is leaving the company in the hands of a capable board of directors.

Finally, Jack said he believes in the talent at Twitter. The incoming CEO started as an engineer and became CEO, something that should give the junior and mid-level ranks at Twitter confidence in their growth potential.

Although Jack left with a heartfelt goodbye, there’s more to the story here.

Who is Replacing Him?

It’s always fascinating to see what happens immediately after a high-profile resignation. Big shoes are hard to fill. There are some cases wherein this has actually worked out; for example, Disney and Bob Iger. On the other hand, we have an example wherein the incumbent is teed up for disaster in the case of GE -> Jeff Immelt.

Twitter’s new CEO isn’t a product guy, a CMO, or a former CEO. Parag Argawahl is the former CTO of Twitter and an engineer by trade.

Parag is taking on a fascinating role at a fascinating time. Twitter has long been seen as the public dialogue of the internet (for better or for worse) and which direction it goes next will determine its place in the evolution of Web3.

How Did the Market React?

Immediately following the announcement $TWTR reacted and is down -8.21% this week, as of writing.

The markets reacted quickly, and across the spectrum of positive and negative. Some are concerned that this is a signal of increased censorship on the platform, the bitcoin community quickly noticed the addition of ethereum to Twitter’s tipping function (they didn’t like that!), and some, like Cathie Wood and $ARKK loaded up on what they see as discounted stock.

Twitter and Bitcoin (The Past)

An interesting place to start unpacking this transition is through the lens of bitcoin (and now crypto).

To understand what happens next, let’s look at some of the blue-check reactions to Jack’s exodus (no crypto pun intended- those who know, know). What was noticeable (on my feed anyway) was the amount of comments directly related to bitcoin.

Clearly the community is excited about what Jack is going to do next, and it’s easy to see why. Jack has built two serious tech companies as CEO and is now turning his attention to one.

Jack has been a committed bitcoiner for a long time and is seen as an important figure in taking the technology mainstream.

The most notable recent integration of bitcoin into the platform was enabling bitcoin tips via the lightning network. In essence, this allowed someone’s Twitter profile to become a neo-banking network. Any user that enabled tips and booted up a bitcoin wallet could be paid directly for their work, anywhere on earth, for essentially free.

Twitter and Bitcoin (The Future)

The account above is Alex Gladstein, Chief Strategy Officer at the Human Rights Foundation and a big proponent of bitcoin as ‘Freedom Go-Up Technology.” Incidentally, Jack and Alex had a great live discussion on behalf of Bitcoin Magazine at the Bitcoin 2021 conference. In their dialogue Jack said.

“If I were not at Twitter or Square, I would be working on bitcoin.”

It appears that has come to fruition, albeit with Jack still at the helm as CEO of Square. What seems to be happening broadly, is Twitter moving into DeFi and Square moving into bitcoin. For the uninitiated, there are, indeed, plenty of dividing lines between those two communities.

Why is Bitcoin so relevant to the Twitter transition specifically? First because Jack, in the past, has been at odds with censorship that has taken place on the platform. When a company gets as big and unruly as Twitter has, it’s impossible to have your finger on the pulse of every single decision.There were times where Jack was upset about decisions that had been made on Twitter’s behalf.

Second, because, as Mike Solana points out, Jack sees bitcoin as naturally anti-authoritarian and anti-censorship. That was the key takeaway of his conversation with Gladstein and it’s one of the reasons he is a vocal advocate for decentralized, internet-native money.

Twitter and DeFi vs. Square and Bitcoin

New moves come fast and in the case of Jack leaving Twitter, they were almost immediate on both sides.

As soon as Dorsey publicly announced his resignation, Parag’s Twitter follows went through the roof, ethereum was added to the tip jar, and Twitter’s content policy was updated such that you cannot share a video or photo of someone on the platform without their permission. Some called into question how this may negatively impact proper citizen journalism.

There was also plenty of action at Square, or should we say, at Block.

Block is, of course, a nod to blockchain technology. Specifically the proof-of-work blockchain that is the bitcoin network, and one that Jack so intimately loves. It means that bitcoin has a new knight in the arena and it means that we now have yet another major tech company focused on ensuring the success of the network.

Block has even renamed it’s former Square Crypto product to Spiral. Just in case there was any confusion around what (the former) Square Crypto is most bullish on, It’s twitter handle is now @spiralbtc.

Twitter becomes a crypto company, Square becomes a bitcoin company.

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Matt George

About the Author

Matt George

Matt George is a writer, podcast producer, and technology enthusiast. His work centres around the intersection of culture, business, and technology.

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