17 Apr Vitalik Buterin’s Take on the Musk-Twitter Takeover
Besides generating a lively discussion among Twitter users across the globe, Elon Musk’s bid to acquire the social media platform for $43 billion in cash has also galvanized the blockchain’s billionaire club. In the latest, Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin has made his mind public on the issue.
In a tweet on Saturday, he said he doesn’t oppose Elon Musk running Twitter, but he doesn’t quite approve of wealthy people or organizations taking over social media firms through hostile bids. Giving the example of an ethically-challenged foreign government doing it, he says the trend can go “very” wrong.
Don’t oppose Elon running twitter (at least compared to status quo), but I do disagree with the more generalized enthusiasm for wealthy people/orgs hostile-takeovering social media firms. That could easily go *very* wrong (eg. imagine an ethically-challenged foreign gov doing it) https://t.co/LDqjXh3xCK
— vitalik.eth (@VitalikButerin) April 15, 2022
Ethereum’s co-founder also said that someone with a 5% stake is ultimately weak, but his ability to control policy increases by far more than 10x if his ownership increases to 50%, hinting that this scenario can be extremely worrying.
Hostile Takeover and Social Media’s Impartiality
Buterin’s comments are in the context of Musk’s attempt to acquire Twitter and the company’s Board trying to ward off a hostile takeover. The ensuing tussle has taken the form of a debate about free speech and social media impartiality.
To Buterin’s first tweet, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ) replied by saying the “poison pill sounds unfair.” He concluded by saying, “there is more than what’s on the surface.”
Sun, SBF, Hoskinson Warm Up to Idea of Decentralized Twitter
The interest of the blockchain community in Elon Musk’s takeover bid of Twitter was first expressed by Justin Sun of TRON, who offered a 10.7% higher price at $60 per share than Elon Musk’s offer of $54.20. Significantly, he said he supports the reforms initiatives of Musk and “would love to see Twitter becoming crypto-native and Web3 friendly.”
To add to this debate, FTX’s CEO Sam Bankman- Fried (SBF) offered to be part of Musk’s Twitter if he intends to take it on-chain. He also gave an idea of what on-chain Twitter might look like and how it can be monetized to better profit.
Taking the idea of a decentralized Twitter forward, whether or not Elon Musk’s bid is successful, Cardano founder Charles Hoskinson offered to build a decentralized iteration of Twitter. Hoskinson’s offer to build an alternate social media a la Twitter, invited all sorts of reactions from the blockchain community, with some saying it may take 5 years or more to come on stream.
Elon Musk’s offer to acquire Twitter came in an SEC filing on April 14. A week earlier, Musk had purchased over 70,000,000 shares of Twitter which led to his appointment to the Board of Directors that he refused to accept.
Both Musk and Sun believe that Twitter’s full potential is far from being tapped, and they have the vision to take this social media platform to the next level of application and profitability.
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