Twitter Wants to Use Blockchain to Avert Scams

Twitter Wants to Use Blockchain to Avert Scams

Social network company Twitter is exploring the blockchain technology to find solutions in fighting scams, Jack Dorsey, the company’s chief executive officer, said in a House Committee on Energy and Commerce hearing which devled on user privacy protections, misinformation, content moderation and alleged bias against political conservatives on the site.

“You previously expressed interest in the broad applications of blockchain technology, including potentially in an effort to verify identity to fight misinformation and scams. What potential applications do you see for blockchain?” California Representative Doris Matsui asked Dorsey.

In response, Dorsey said bitcoin would become the Web’s native currency. “First and foremost we need to start with the problems that we’re trying to solve and the problems we’re solving for our customers and look at all available technology in order to understand if it could help us accelerate or make those outcomes much better. Blockchain is one that I think has a lot of untapped potential, specifically around distributed trust and distributed enforcement potentially.”

“We haven’t gone as deep as we’d like just yet in understanding how we might apply this technology to the problems we’re facing at Twitter, but we do have people within the company thinking about it today,” he added.

During the hearing, Matsui also emphasized a proposed measure urging Department of Commerce to establish a blockchain working group to define blockchain.

“As I previously announced in this committee, I am soon introducing legislation to direct the Department of Commerce to convene a working group of stakeholders to develop a consensus-based definition of blockchain,” she pointed out before throwing questions at Dorsey.

Twitter has been ground-zero for targeting scams aimed at deceiving users out of the digital currency holdings. These perpetrators, using their bogus accounts, have lured users into sending their virtual currency to fictitious celebrity and influencer profiles.

Data by CoinDesk shows these scammers have amassed a total of thousands of dollars over the last several days as most of them have successfully deceived holders of virtual currencies through various disguise.

Earlier, Dorsey, a fan of bitcoin, said the world’s first cryptocurrency should become the default currency of the internet.

“I’m just approaching with the principle that the Internet deserves a native currency. It will have a native currency. I don’t know if it will be bitcoin. I hope it will be bitcoin. I’m a huge fan,” he had said during CoinDesk’s Consensus 2018 conference in New York City in May.

“We’ve led with that mindset. But there’s still a lot of skepticism and a lot of debate and a lot of fights. But that’s where the magic happens, where creativity happens,” he added.

Meanwhile, payment processor Square, whose CEO is also Dorsey, has exhibited significant interest in the blockchain technology. In 2014, Square Market integrated bitcoin into its merchant point-of-sale systems. Another Square product, Cash mobile app, then started testing bitcoin buying and selling in late 2017, rolling out access to all 50 American states in the previous month.

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