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Elon Musk’s X continues push to become a payments company

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X, the social network formerly known as Twitter, has secured a currency transmitter license from Rhode Island regulators, underlining its ambitious foray into the financial services sector, according to Cointelegraph.
The currency transmitter license, obtained on Aug. 28, is mandatory for companies engaged in financial activities concerning money transfers and receipts, spanning traditional fiat currencies and the burgeoning realm of digital cryptocurrencies.
With this regulatory nod, X possesses the authority to facilitate the custody, transfer, and exchange of digital currencies. This brings Elon Musk one step closer to his vision of transforming X into an all-encompassing “everything app,” similar to Alipay and WeChat.
At PaymentJournal, we have covered X and its quest to reorient toward being a social payments platform. Twitter registered in November 2022 to be a money transmitter with the U.S. Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, and it has been proceeding with state-level licenses necessary to transition to becoming a payments company.
The approval from Rhode Island’s regulators follows X’s successful acquisition of money transmitter licenses in Michigan, Missouri, and New Hampshire on July 5. X has now secured transmitter licenses in seven U.S. states.
Although the specifics of X’s forthcoming financial offerings remain shrouded in mystery, insiders with knowledge of the company’s plans suggest that initial services will bear a resemblance to traditional fiat currency transactions, reminiscent of platforms like PayPal, a company co-founded by Musk. However, Cointelegraph reports reveal that Musk has instructed developers to build the platform in a way that allows future crypto functionality to be integrated.
“Clearly, Elon Musk and X are looking at payments as a way to increase the utility of the X platform,” said James Wester, Head of Cryptocurrency at Javelin Strategy & Research. “Licensing and permits, including at the state-level, is an important part of the process, but it’s only the beginning. The big question is whether or not X has the reach, reliability, and reputation that will make it an app consumers want to trust with financial transactions. Will they want to use X for payments given the other choices they have? That’s a big open question.”
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