Twitter’s plans to roll out a payment platform took a major step forward this week as its subsidiary, Twitter Payments, received its first money transmitter licenses in the United States states of Michigan, New Hampshire and Missouri. 

The company — reportedly building a solution with crypto in mind — is seeking to provide transfer services in all 50 U.S. states, with further approvals still pending and no clear timeline in place.

As with every business, Twitter is seeking new sources of revenue supported by its massive user base. In a Twitter Space event in 2022, Musk said he envisioned allowing bank accounts to be connected to social media profiles, incorporating debit cards and money transfers. The goal appears similar to the now-defunct Diem — the failed global payments project from Facebook’s parent company Meta.

For better results than Meta’s project, Twitter relies heavily on its crypto-tech community, but Musk is also at odds with Crypto Twitter. This week, the platform limited its content reach, citing “extreme levels of data scraping and system manipulation.” The decision was a blow to the crypto ecosystem, which relies heavily on Twitter for sharing information and achieving new audiences.

“The reason I set a “View Limit” is because we are all Twitter addicts and need to go outside,” said Musk on the platform. The move could be a double-edged sword for Twitter’s payment plans.

This week’s Crypto Biz also explores Gemini’s fight with the Digital Currency Group (DCG) over user funds, new banking tools for the digital yuan, and OpenAI’s efforts to stop users from jumping paywalls.

Winklevoss slams DCG’s Silbert — Not even SBF was ‘capable of such delusion’

In an open letter published on July 4, Cameron Winklevoss slammed Digital Currency Group’s CEO Barry Silbert for allegedly playing the victim card while owing $1.2 billion to Gemini’s 232,000 Earn customers. DCG’s Genesis was the lender behind Gemini’s Earn program, which promised returns as high as 8% to depositors. It suspended withdrawals in November 2022 after FTX’s collapse. “I write to inform you that your games are over,” Winklevoss said, explaining that professional fees have now “ballooned” to over $100 million at the expense of credits and Earn users. Winklevoss has given Silbert an ultimatum: accept his firm’s “best and final offer” or face a lawsuit. The offer includes a $1.47 billion agreement, with the first payment due this month and the last payment due five years from now. Later, on July 7, Gemini filed the lawsuit against DCG. 

Crypto-friendly DBS Bank launches digital yuan transaction tool

DBS Bank China officially announced the launch of the digital yuan merchant solution, allowing mainland businesses to receive payments in the central bank digital currency (CBDC). DBS told Cointelegraph that the new service would allow its clients in mainland China to receive or collect the digital yuan and have it automatically settled into their yuan bank deposit accounts. By the end of 2022, there were 13.6 billion digital yuan in circulation, or about $2 billion. The CBDC is currently accepted across 26 cities and 17 provinces in China, with adoption expected to increase as more provinces join the program.

Musk imposes ‘rate limit’ on Twitter, citing extreme ‘system manipulation’

Social media platform Twitter is temporarily limiting the number of posts users will be allowed to read daily after seeing “extreme levels of data scraping and system manipulation,” according to executive chairman Musk. The new rules temporarily limit verified accounts to see 10,000 posts per day, while unverified and new unverified accounts are capped at 1,000 and 500 posts per day, respectively. The decision has been largely criticized by the crypto community, which relies heavily on Twitter to communicate and share information. The new rate limits already affected the indexing and display of tweets on Google’s search engine, causing over 50% of Twitter URLs to disappear from the search index. Lower tweet visibility on Google would also reduce the amount of crypto-related content originating from Twitter. 

OpenAI pauses ChatGPT’s Bing feature, as users were jumping paywalls

ChatGPT’s Browse, a Bing-based search engine feature, has been temporarily disabled by OpenAI after a loophole enabled users to bypass paywalled content. OpenAI may have acted on the issue in response to a Reddit post. In late June, a member of the r/ChatGPT subreddit posted a screenshot of a Browse session where they asked the chatbot to “print the text” of a link to a paywalled article from The Atlantic. In response, ChatGPT provided the article in full without the paywall. The browser is currently in beta and is available to subscribers of the ChatGPT Plus service. 

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