How Can 238 Million Twitter Users Be Wrong?

by Nov 1, 2022Articles


He sounds like the archetypal Silicon Valley billionaire…

A guru who – from his impossibly beautiful mansion – rhapsodises about mindfulness, beard hair and ice baths. Rumour has it he eats just one meal a day.

This is someone who, you might imagine, enjoys the smell of his own farts.

But don’t be deceived by the media circus. They’ve worked on projects that have changed the world.

You may have heard of Jack Dorsey, Twitter’s founder and former CEO.

As a teenager he set up taxi dispatching software that was bought up and used by minicab companies. After leaving school he attended MIT but never graduated. Then, in 2006 he launched Twitter.

Today Twitter has over 238 million users. It has changed the way so many of us – from popes to presidents – communicate and gather news online.

(As a side note in 2009 Dorsey also cofounded a company called Square (now known as Block). It’s a payment taking device that can be attached to almost any smartphone. Today Block has a market cap of $34.89 billion).

Why am I rattling off Jack Dorsey’s CV, impressive though it is?

One of the big hurdles in crypto is helping move people away from the get rich quick mindset. Or what I frequently refer to in this email newsletter as the magic internet money casino.

Recent headlines in the media exemplify this. You’ll have seen Elon Musk complete his purchase of Twitter for $44 billion in October 2022 to great fanfare.

Musk is fascinating. A whirlwind character. The space race darling or Bond villain of tech, depending on his mood. Love him or loathe him he will likely continue to make great strides in electric and driverless cars, space tech and more.

But when it comes to crypto he’s like Joe Biden trying to set up an old VHS TV recorder. Doddery and impatient. He bought some Bitcoin ($1.5 billion worth) and then sold most of it. Then he started – seemingly on a late night whim – to endorse Dogecoin. A dog-faced meme coin.

And yet because Musk is now so omnipresent he captures the crypto headlines. He courts them.

But getting crypto commentary from Musk is like asking a Big Brother contestant for relationship advice.

And this is a problem. When tech leaders – regardless of their expertise – champion crypto it can move markets. When they change their mind it can move markets. This has always been the story with crypto – just like it was in the early days of the internet.

The media has to capture attention to sell their product, so invariably they have to focus on the wild claims and eccentric soundbytes, not on the potential.

Quietly, behind the scenes, Jack Dorsey has been working on something new…

It’s no secret Dorsey loves crypto.

As Bloomberg reports “He predicted Bitcoin would replace banks, bring economic opportunity to entrepreneurs in the developing world, and incentivize investments in renewable energy.

“Bitcoin changes absolutely everything,” Dorsey stated matter-of-factly. “I don’t think there’s anything more important in my lifetime to work on.”

And in November 2021 he resigned from Twitter.

He wanted, as the NY Post reports, “Twitter to stop being a founder-led company, which could be a weakness over time. “I’ve worked hard to ensure this company can break away from its founding and founders…”

Now he’s putting more focus into Block but he’s also backing a decentralised social media network called BlueSky.

BlueSky has barely been whispered about in the press…

The man who created Twitter has been working, since 2019, to make a decentralised Social media platform, a new crypto Twitter and yet no-one has even heard of it.

What do we mean by a decentralised social media platform?

We’ve covered decentralisation a few times here in the Vanguard, but the gist is this…

Imagine a social media platform that operates outside the will and whims of a single, self-interested company or board of directors.

Imagine a social media platform that keeps users private data totally encrypted. No more advertisers or middlemen buying and selling our personal information.

Imagine a social media platform that lets you choose the algorithm which serves you. A chance to do away with the outrage algorithm that steals our attention and leaves us feeling angry and empty.

The difficult hurdle, when it comes to crypto, is helping people see the potential of the technology. That incredible potential outside of all the speculation.

The key takeaway is this…

If you can make life more convenient for people…

If you can strip out bad actors in an industry…

You can change the world.

Will Dorsey’s BlueSky succeed?

It’s too early to say. You wouldn’t bet against him out of hand.

But here’s the thing.

At the CTA, on our premium service, we’re keeping an eye on a handful of exciting projects in the decentralised social media space.

And this is just ONE use case. There are potentially thousands more…

The future will be decentralised. Watch this space.

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