What Crypto Can Expect From Twitter’s New CEO
Indeed, no later than November 2019, Agrawal proclaimed himself “”crypto-naive”In a fireside chat on Twitter campus with cryptocurrency entrepreneur Joseph Lubin. A little over a week later, Agrawal joined Dorsey on a trip to Nigeria, where Agrawal met the local Bitcoin community. Chris Maurice, CEO of the YellowCard stock exchange, who attended the meetings, recalls that Agrawal, like Dorsey, was “extremely curious” on the subject. “They had a strong preference for listening and learning, as opposed to being the center of attention,” recalls Maurice.
A few months later, Agrawal was instrumental in launching bluesky, a Twitter-funded initiative to develop a protocol—potentially underpinned by a blockchain—Build decentralized social networks, to replace proprietary platforms such as Twitter and Facebook. The project was first run from a private server on Matrix, a secure communications platform, before moving to a public Discord channel. “hiding, more observant, more listening than pushing hard through his agenda.”
In Henshaw-Plath’s view, the choice to appoint Agrawal as CEO indicates that Twitter will be working seriously on decentralization and crypto. “I suspect that Twitter will continue to experiment with various blockchain tricks, although I have no idea what that would look like,” he says. He describes Twitter’s internal politics as a constant duel between technologists like Dorsey who advocate a more open and decentralized structure and businessmen focused on monetization. “Parag is definitely one of the people who thinks Twitter is fundamental infrastructure and is motivated by the implementation of interesting technology. “
But some crypto folks don’t see Agrawal’s involvement in bluesky as a badge of merit. Carter says the project has a reputation for being slow. “It’s a bit stagnant,” he says. More generally, he is skeptical about the chances that a company like Twitter, especially after Dorsey’s departure, could really lead to a decentralization of social networks. “I would expect to see some sort of crypto social media platform developed at some point, but I think it would happen externally, not within an established Silicon Valley company,” Carter said. .
Mati Greenspan, founder and CEO of cryptocurrency investment consultancy firm Quantum Economics, is also dismissive. “We can either assume that bluesky is building their protocol very, very quietly, and it’s a massive project, or we can assume it’s kind of on the back burner and not a priority,” he says.
Henshaw-Plath retorts that building a blockchain protocol must be slow, for its own good. “It’s a process; it involves a lot of people. Bluesky could be faster; there could be more to do with it. But it’s also a mistake to rush too fast, ”he said. He believes that Agrawal’s own temperament, which he describes as that of a “thoughtful consensus builder”, means that he will be able to make Twitter a powerful force in the development of such technologies.