Elon Musk’s X platform, formerly known as Twitter, has recently obtained payment licenses in seven US states, including the most recent license from Rhode Island. This move indicates that the social media site owned by Musk has plans to expand its services beyond social media posts and into the realm of payments processing.
The licenses obtained by X so far are from Arizona, Maryland, Georgia, Michigan, Missouri, and New Hampshire. These licenses allow for broader payment services to be offered on the platform, potentially paving the way for nationwide payment processing capabilities similar to Venmo or PayPal. This aligns with Musk’s vision for X to become an “everything app” that offers various services beyond its initial purpose.
While Musk has hinted at supporting cryptocurrency on X, it remains unclear whether the obtained licenses allow for crypto payments. The licenses do enable the platform to offer a range of payment services, including traditional wire transfers and electronic transfers like PayPal. However, for businesses looking to conduct cryptocurrency exchange and custody services, additional state-specific licenses may be required.
For example, Rhode Island’s currency transmission license, which X recently obtained, is necessary for businesses engaged in cryptocurrency exchange and custody. Fintech companies are exempt from this license requirement only in rare cases where money transmission is not their core profit-making business and if they are registered as an agent of a licensed currency transmitter.
Similarly, in New Hampshire, engaging in the business of selling or issuing payment instruments or stored value, or transmitting currency or monetary value to another location, falls under the definition of “money transmission”. The state’s laws also consider administrators or exchangers of convertible virtual currencies as money transmitters.
Elon Musk’s interest in incorporating crypto payments on X is evident from his previous actions, such as temporarily replacing the platform’s logo with dogecoin’s dog. However, it remains to be seen how X will navigate the regulatory landscape surrounding cryptocurrency payments, considering the specific licenses needed in each state.
Overall, X’s acquisition of payment licenses in seven US states signifies its intentions to enhance its platform’s capabilities and potentially become a major player in the payments industry. It will be interesting to see how the platform evolves and whether it successfully integrates cryptocurrency payments alongside traditional fiat currency transactions.