Twitter submitted its application to the US Treasury Department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) on 4 November, stating that it plans to conduct money services in the United States and several of its international territories.
The move has been anticipated for some time. Musk has alluded to Twitter's development into a 'super app', similar to WeChat in China. An application that performs video chats, messaging, streaming, and payments - making it ubiquitous throughout the country.
In October, Musk tweeted that "buying Twitter is an accelerant to creating X, the everything app", without elaborating.
He stated that he has a "grander vision" for what X.com, an online bank that he founded early in his career and which later became part of PayPal, could have become.
“Obviously that could be started from scratch, but I think Twitter would help accelerate that by three to five years,” Mr. Musk said in August. “So it’s kind of something that I thought would be quite useful for a long time. I know what to do.”
Furthermore, Mr. Musk has a long and well-known history with cryptocurrency, to the extent that he has appeared in skits on Saturday Night Live as the 'Dogefather'. In less than 15 minutes, the meme-inspired cryptocurrency rose from $0.25 to $0.30.
Recently, Musk tweeted a picture of a Shiba Inu dog - the digital coin's mascot - wearing a Twitter shirt, suggesting future integration.
Musk responded with a sideways-looking eyes emoji to a question from one of his followers asking if he was working on a cryptocurrency payment system for Twitter.
“Even though it was created as a silly joke, Dogecoin is actually better suited to transactions,” Mr. Musk told Time magazine in 2021. “It is slightly inflationary... but that’s actually positive as it encourages people to spend rather than hoard it as a store of value.”
The question remains, however, as to whether Musk's ambitious plans can be realized; the billionaire is well known for making lofty promises but has been unable to deliver them in a timely manner.
Many companies, such as Google, Snap, Meta, Uber, and others, have developed super apps, but none have been adopted as widely as those in China - not least because people already have an array of apps to manage their shopping, communication, and payment needs.
“Old habits are hard to break, and people in the U.S. are used to using different apps for different activities," Jasmine Enberg, principal analyst at Insider Intelligence, stated that super apps are likely to collect more personal information at a time when trust in social media platforms has declined substantially.