On Thursday, September 23rd, Twitter announced a new feature that allows users to tip their most favoured content creators using Bitcoin. This new feature will allow Twitter influencers and content creators to earn money from anywhere in the world without any forms of geographical restrictions. To achieve this, Twitter partnered with Strike, a platform built on Bitcoin Lighting Network. A tiny money icon, which if turned on, would appear on the creator’s profile, informing others that the user is accepting Bitcoin tips. This new feature will be available on IOS devices and later allowed o Android users.
Twitter is not getting any cut from the money sent through its tips feature. The integration of Bitcoin to Twitter’s tip feature is not surprising since Jack Dorsey, the CEO of Twitter is a big fan of cryptocurrency.
For users to send money to their favourite creators on Twitter through third-party apps, including CashApps, Patreon, Venmo, Chipper, Bandcamp, Razorpay, GoFundMe, PicPay and Wealthsimple Cash.
Chipper Cash is a Pan-African online transfer service that offers instant no-fee local and cross border money transfers. The company renders services to seven African countries including Nigeria, South Africa, Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda.
Strike allows users in the US and El Salvador to send and receive payment through Strike.
What is Bitcoin Lightning Network?
The Bitcoin Lightning Network is a route that eases Bitcoin transactions outside the Bitcoin network. It allows faster and easier transactions; it allows transactions to occur immediately and to be recorded on the Blockchain later. The Bitcoin Lightning Network is an important part of the blockchain ecosystem to address the problems and significantly enhance the scalability and speed of transactions.
Twitter is making use of the Bitcoin Lightning Network for a faster transaction as opposed to the ones carried out on-chain.
What the new Twitter feature means for Nigerians
According to a 2020 global consumer survey conducted by Statista, 32% of Nigerians said they used or owned cryptocurrency making Nigeria the highest cryptocurrency proportion in the world with regards to the survey.
Being the 2nd largest Bitcoin holder after the US, Nigerians have recorded a significant interest in the use and Bitcoin investment. The EndSars protest and the role digital currency played in raising funds to support protesters, the Nigerian government placed a ban on the use and investment in cryptocurrencies. To date, the ban is yet to be lifted. Another banwas placed on Twitter in what the government referred to as a means to regulate the micro-blogging site.
With these bans still in place, both Twitter and its tipping feature do not apply to Nigerians legally. Most Nigerians are carving a way out of these for themselves. Nigerians now access Twitter through VPN while peer-to-peer trading allows them to trade crypto as every other person. P2P is an available option to allow Twitter users to have access to the Bitcoin tipping feature.