Twitter rolls out Tips and lets users pay in bitcoin

24 Sep 2021

Image: © chayantorn/Stock.adobe.com

As Twitter rolls out its Tips feature globally, Strike will enable users to receive payments in bitcoin.

Twitter is now rolling out its tipping feature to all users globally and for the first time is giving the option to pay in bitcoin.

To help facilitate bitcoin payments through the app, Twitter has chosen Strike – a payments app built on the bitcoin Lightning Network that allows for free and instant crypto payments globally.

Announced in May as Tip Jar and now renamed Tips, the feature is extending from a select group of users – which included creators, journalists, experts and nonprofits – to all Twitter users on the iOS app. It will also be available for Android users in the coming weeks.

The move is part of the social media giant’s plans to help people make money on the platform.

“Whether you want to tip your favourite account because you adore their commentary, send some love to an emerging comedy creator for their hilarious tweets, help a small business owner through a difficult time, give to an important cause – whatever you want to support (and we know you already have some ideas), Tips is here to help you do it,” wrote staff product manager Esther Crawford in a company blog.

Payment services currently available through the app include Bandcamp, Cash App, Chipper, Patreon, Razorpay, Wealthsimple Cash and Venmo. Twitter has now also added funding platform GoFundMe and Brazilian payment app PicPay to the list.

“Once you tap the service you want to use, you’ll be taken off Twitter to the selected app to send funds. Twitter takes no cut,” Crawford explained.

Three phone screens showing the process of picking a payment service through Twitter's new Tips feature.

Image: Twitter

While the general payments feature is open to users globally, the bitcoin payments feature is currently only available to users in El Salvador and parts of the US. Users who want to receive crypto payments must be in the eligible regions and have a Strike account.

However, people sending money can use any bitcoin Lightning wallet to send tips to someone’s Strike account.

US company Strike has an office registered in Dublin and CEO Jack Mallers has expressed an intent to expand in Europe.

“We want everyone on Twitter to have access to pathways to get paid. Digital currencies that encourage more people to participate in the economy and help people send each other money across borders and with as little friction as possible help us get there,” Crawford added.

Twitter also said it is experimenting with a feature that allows users to authenticate and display their NFT digital assets on their profiles to support digital art creators.

Updated, 10.00am, 24 September 2021: A previous version of this article mistook Strike for Irish fintech Strikepay. Corrections have been made along with additional information on Strike’s plans in Europe. Silicon Republic regrets this error.

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Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic

editorial@siliconrepublic.com