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digital daily: Decentralized Twitter

Rising inequality has emerged as one of the steepest political challenges. It is global, with no easy solutions. The share of income earned by the top 1% has risen sharply in the past thirty years, and wealth disparities have ballooned. That these gaps opened during low inflation and rising middle-income living standards add to the political charge around the issues. Improving supply chains and rapid tech innovation has apportioned value to a few, evident in the recent sale of Twitter. Decentralization can be the great equalizer. Former Twitter founders are “building decentralized social media that needs to be about people and human connection, not structuring our world through algorithms.” Enter Elon. Musk is aware of the direction of social media, and clearly believes it is wiser to pivot with an existing network. Of course, decentralization and the absence of censorship are at the core of the digital ecosystem, distributing value to users who control their data. It also means the value proposition behind Twitter V2.0 must adapt – capital markets are not utilitarian. What will Twitter and other decentralized peers become? A payment platform is a good guess. Twitter currently brings in $15 million in revenue from payments; Musk projected it to rise to $1.3 billion in 2028. And in classic Musk romanticism, product “X” will have 104 million users by then – just don’t ask what X is, that would spoil the fantasy. It is an evolution from the payments revolution that began two decades ago. Only now, the generation who built it knows the rules of banking. It is precisely how rails like Bitcoin and Ethereum enter the mainstream – a better user experience that gives individuals economics in the network they are building. Rising inequality is unsustainable. It will come to an end. Decentralization is one market-based mechanism.