Twitter Offers Bitcoin Tipping in Move Towards Holistic Crypto Offerings

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Sep. 24 2021, Published 1:15 p.m. ET

The juxtaposition of cryptocurrency continues. As China cracks down with a full-on ban of crypto trading and mining, U.S. company Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) added a new feature for digital assets—Bitcoin tipping.

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Here's what the new feature means, how to use it, and other Twitter crypto features to come.

What Bitcoin tipping means for Twitter users

On Sept. 23, Twitter announced that verified users are now able to accept tips on their profile through a feature accurately named Tips. In addition to other forms of payment, users will be able to get paid in Bitcoin.

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Twitter isn't processing payments directly and will use third-party payments providers to complete tipping transactions for different types of currency (including fiat). For Bitcoin payments, a Bitcoin wallet app called Strike will process payments. Strike runs on the Lightning Network protocol, which is reportedly faster and more affordable to use.

If a user doesn't want to accept tips in Bitcoin, they can set up their profile to accept Venmo and Cash App, among seven other options.

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In a blog post, Product Manager Esther Crawford wrote, "Whether you want to tip your favorite account because you adore their commentary, send some love to an emerging comedy creator for their hilarious Tweets, help a small business owner through a difficult time, give to an important cause—whatever you want to support (and we know you already have some ideas), Tips is here to help you do it."

The feature is only for iOS—for now

With Bitcoin tipping fresh out of its planning phase, Twitter has only released the feature for Apple iOS users. Folks on an Android operating system will have to wait, but not for long. Twitter expects to follow up with an Android release soon.

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The move toward Bitcoin integration isn't a surprise.

Twitter founder and CEO Jack Dorsey is a vocal Bitcoin advocate. Dorsey is on the board of the Crypto Council for Innovation and spoke at the B Word Conference.

In June, Dorsey tweeted that it was "only a matter of time" until he would build Lightning Network into Twitter.

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Bad news for New York and Hawaii?

Currently, Strike doesn't operate in New York and Hawaii, although it does operate in all other U.S. states. Users who can't use Strike can enter the person's Bitcoin address directly in the wallet of their choosing.

The feature makes it easy to keep track of capital gains.

Cryptocurrency gets taxed as capital gains. The U.S. has become increasingly strict about crypto tax evasion, going so far as to allocate $80 billion for the IRS to recover crypto back taxes.

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The Twitter feature automatically generates invoices so users can keep track of Bitcoin capital gains and comply with tax regulation.

Will Twitter authenticate NFTs next?

On top of Bitcoin tipping, Twitter is currently planning a new feature—NFT authentication. The feature would create a badge to showcase authentication for NFTs.

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NFTs have been around since 2016 but swelled in value over the last year. People are capitalizing on the trend by falsifying authentication. A fake Banksy NFT sold in August for about $334,000.

Twitter's new and upcoming features show Dorsey's commitment to highlighting the world of crypto as trustworthy and secure. His work through the Crypto Council for Innovation includes publishing reports divulging the reduction in crypto-related illicit activity, especially within the U.S.

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