From Dogecoin to Twitter: The Making of the Everything App

Depending on whom you ask, Elon is either an egotistical villain or a savior. He is currently the world’s richest man, with a net worth of about 200 Billion. Well, with that kind of money it becomes easy to create products that have a direct impact on people’s daily lives- with huge repercussions.

Now, Elon is not your average billionaire. Most of the time, he has swayed the masses to his favor, much to the chagrin of big tech. This has turned him into somewhat of a cult, with a huge following and an enviable portfolio of companies that seek to upend conventional beliefs and corporations. From Neuralink to Space X , Tesla to the Boring Company, he is an entrepreneur who seeks to “disrupt” global order as he strives to achieve what may somewhat be thought to be impossible — until it’s done.

Twitter Acquisition and Association with Dogecoin

Elon’s recent acquisition of Twitter may not have come as a surprise, seeing the influence this app has on disseminating and sharing “truth”.

He offered to buy it at a ridiculously high rate ( USD 44 Billion)- perhaps an indication that he believed the app was worth a lot more. The buying process was initially marred by accusations and counter-accusations, until the deal finally went through at the end of October 2022. After purchasing it, he said that he intends to make Twitter the most accurate source of information across the world by empowering citizen journalism.

” It is important for the world to have a common digital square where a wide range of beliefs can be debated in a healthy
manner without resorting to violence” ,

he stated in a statement after the acquisition.

Recently, Elon shared screenshots of an internal meeting he had on Twitter- showing the progress of the platform and future plans that included introducing a payment system. This caused Dogecoin to rally and gained about 19% from the news. The relationship between Elon and Dogecoin isn’t new. From the time Elon bought Twitter, there were rumors that the company has been working on a development that would allow crypto payments, and the market interpreted this to mean Dogecoin would be the choice of crypto. Elon has also been posting dog-themed memes
on his account, perhaps confirming the widely held beliefs that indeed this may be the crypto that would most likely be adopted on the platform.

The Everything App

How he intends to promote global truth, we are yet to know, but one thing is for sure, he is on a mission to redefine this space and we are already seeing lots of resistance from Big tech — If recent rumors of Apple delisting Twitter from its App store are anything to go by. What we also know is that this acquisition may gel well with his desire to create an app that he once called the x app or the everything app- something similar to TenCent’s we chat or Alipay, but for the world.

Also called a super app, an everything app is an app where you can do everything without leaving the app. Think of it as a single app that contains all the digital services you may need-from chatting to booking a hotel,
even hailing a taxi, or making payments to your local store. These apps are dominant in the Asian region. In China, an app like Wechat is ubiquitous and essential for everyday use. More than a billion people have access to We chat in China and use it to do basically everything from paying bills to booking medical appointments. Other apps in Asia that have adopted this model are the Grab app in Malaysia and Singapore and the Line app in Japan.

Elon once mentioned that acquiring Twitter will accelerate the development of X or the everything app by at least three to five years.

We have already started seeing developments geared towards attaining this goal, especially with the launch of Twitter 2.0. It seems that Elon would like to ape the models of Wechat, Grab, and Line but this time scale it up for the global audience. So basically, the X app would be the same as Wechat, but for the world. If the recently shared screenshots on his Twitter page are anything to go by, then the new app will include video streaming, video chats, long texts, and payment platforms- building blocks for a diversified platform.

Add Neuralink to all this talk and the conversation on what this app may accomplish changes. Neuralink is a company owned by Elon that wants to implant coin-sized computer chips into human minds.

They recently stated that they are awaiting FDA approvals and will start trials for this in the next 6 months. So, maybe, Elon’s goal for the X app is to ultimately have it work as a computer- chip implanted in human brains and do “ everything”, if it could.

Challenges in Setting up the Everything App

As he pursues this goal, there are hurdles that have to be overcome. Firstly, he is not the only entrepreneur that wants to create this app.

Some companies have already tried this and achieved success (within their geographies). He is therefore bound to face stiff competition from these companies and other big tech companies that are working on this- Facebook is a good example. Facebook is striving to create a platform that will be a melting pot for all online services- from payments to interactions and even booking appointments. Other big tech companies that have also made forays into this domain are Google, Tiktok, and even Uber. Secondly,
most people, especially in the West, are not accustomed to this and may find it hard to adopt a single app that “does everything”. This may explain the modest success achieved by other big tech companies that have tried to launch this kind of app in America. Finally, regulatory hurdles may arise, especially if he were to incorporate crypto payment solutions.

Even with all these bottlenecks, Elon doe not shy away from a good fight. He has demonstrated time and again his ability to get into industries that are considered ‘impossible to penetrate and deliver game-changing products that reshape an entire industry. Wishing him away may not
be an efficient strategy. Savvy investors may try to get into some of the
companies/ solutions that would most likely be adopted into this trend.
Cryptocurrencies like Doge are a good buy at this stage.

It will most likely continue its upward trajectory for as long as Twitter intends to create a payment gateway. However, there is no guarantee that it will be X app’s currency of choice.

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Will AI be superior to humans? Elon Musk thinks so!

Elon Musk, the maverick entrepreneur behind Tesla and SpaceX has made yet another of his predictions. He says that Artificial Intelligence (AI) will be superior to humans in five years.

His prediction is also a warning. Musk has been outspoken about the dangers of AI in the past: in 2018 he claimed AI could become “an immortal dictator from which we would never escape” and even said he thought the technology was more dangerous than nuclear weapons.

Ryan Daws writing for AI News, refers to a recent New York Times interview given by Musk in which he said current trends in AI suggested it would “overtake” humans by 2025. Musk then added, ““that doesn’t mean that everything goes to hell in five years. It just means that things get unstable or weird.” Well, we’ve already experienced that in 2020 and it had nothing to do with AI.

Ray Kurzweil, an eminent futurist has previously estimated that machine intelligence overtaking human intelligence would occur around 2045.

It is ironic perhaps that Musk’s companies are all heavy users of AI, but as Daws says, it isn’t the case that Musk is against the technology: he simply thinks it should be more regulated – an ethical AI if you like.

Indeed, Musk formed OpenAI in 2015 to research and promote ethical artificial intelligence, although he left it in 2018 due to internal disagreements. In February this year, he said that OpenAI should be more “open” and that all organisations “developing advanced AI should be regulated, including Tesla.”

AI and fake news

It was interesting to read in Daws’ article that OpenAI had developed a text generator but decided not to release it, citing its dangers in a word that is already really struggling with the surge in fake news. However, two graduates created something similar, claiming it “allows everyone to have an important conversation about security, and researchers to help secure against future potential abuses.”

Now OPenAI has allowed a select band of researchers to try out its AI text tech. Called GPT-3, it has been grabbing attention due to the “incredible things it can achieve with limited input.” For example, one researcher tweeted: “Playing with GPT-3 feels like seeing the future. I’ve gotten it to write songs, stories, press releases, guitar tabs, interviews, essays, technical manuals. It’s shockingly good.”

That all sounds very exciting, although song writers and PR agencies may not feel the same level of thrill about it, until they discover how much easier it makes their work. Will human intelligence be overtaken by 2025? It’s more likely that Musk’s prediction is simply attention grabbing, something that he excels at. Perhaps he’s wondering if AI might overtake his ability to stay in the headlines?

Elon Musk hogs the headlines again!

Elon Musk, the Tesla and SpaceX entrepreneur, is making headlines again. Over the last week, we’ve had the controversy over the naming of his latest offspring, his nmother-in-law condemning his ‘red pill’ tweets, and now, unable to stay out of the press, he has slammed the Federal Reserve’s coronavirus stimulus package.

Musk claims that US fiscal policy has become “detached from reality,” and that it should be viewed in sharp contrast with “bitcoin’s looming supply squeeze,” as reported by Billy Bambrough. Now, Musk has gone a step further, according to Bambrough in Forbes, where he quotes the entrepreneur as saying “the central bank currency issuance” is making cryptocurrency bitcoin look “solid by comparison.”

Harry Potter and the Bitcoin Blockchain

Rather bizarrely, Musk’s latest statements came in response to a query from Harry Potter author, J.K. Rowling about how bitcoin works. The two are prolific Twitter users, and this is where the conversation took place on 15th May.

Rowling tweeted, “People are now explaining Bitcoin to me, and honestly, it’s blah blah blah collectibles (My Little Pony?) blah blah blah computers (got one of those) blah blah blah crypto (sounds creepy) blah blah blah understand the risk (I don’t, though.)

In reply, Musk told her Bitcoin looked solid by comparison with the currency issued by central banks, and said that he still owns 0.25 BTC. Cointelegraph stepped into the fray, and tweeted, “I think wveryone is just waiting for you to send them to the moon Elon,” which resulted in some comic responses in the form of Buzz Lightyear memes.

However, it seems nobody was able to convince Rowling about bitcoin, as she later tweeted, “I’m just about able to grasp a barter system. Talk of collectibles, tokenomics and blockchains and my brain just takes a walk.”

Vitalik Buterin of Ethereum then stepped up to provide the creator of wizards with his explanation, and Neeraj Agrawal, of Washington-based cryptocurrency policy think tank Coincenter, really tried to get Rowling to understand it by saying it was “magical Internet money.” Tyler Winklevoss objected to this, replying bitcoin was not ‘magical’, it was the US dollar that could be described that way.

J.K. Rowling may not have been convinced by the responses of the various cryptocurrency heavyweights, but as Bitcoin Magazine tweeted,

“Dear Diary, Today was a wild ride for #BitcoinTwitter.”

Elon Musk turns into Trump on Twitter

Elon Musk of Tesla fame has a knack for getting his name in the headlines. There is barely a week goes by when his name doesn’t appear in the media somewhere, whether it is the mainstream media or more niche sectors of the press. This week he has taken on the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), because he is fed up of journalists’ criticisms of Tesla.

As always, Musk launches his attacks on Twitter. This time he presented the WSJ and its columnist Holman Jenkins as “sock puppets for “big oil.” In one tweet he asked his followers: “Please support my campaign to rebrand WSJ as sock puppets emoji.”

Francois Asure at CCN finds it very odd that Musk should behave somewhat like Trump on Twitter, suggesting that surely as a creative genius, Musk can do better than hurl “Trump-style epithets” at such an esteemed institution. Asure was referring to the way in which Trump branded Hillary Clinton, “Crooked Hillary”, and he also called Kim Jong-Un “Little Rocket Man.” Presumably he didn’t call him that when he met him at their famous summit meeting.

Instead, Musk appears to be adopting Trump’s tactics with the WSJ, simply because he doesn’t think the paper gives him fair coverage. It sounds a lot like Trump’s ongoing battle with The New York Times, CNN and his other perceived media enemies that he is sure tell lies about him. It often comes across as childish petulance on trump’s part, and Musk’s response to this WSJarticle, “Tesla Can’t Stop Dreaming Big.” The introduction reads: “Elon Musk’s plans to turn Tesla into a dominant automobile player have become a liability instead of an asset.” It is a less than glowing account of Tesla and the upheavals within the company. It also questions Musk’s leadership style and the way in which he uses his personality –“erratic, bombastic and alternative” –to draw attention to his brands.

As Asure remarks, “For the CEO to use Twitter to communicate with shareholders is about as unusual as a U.S. president turning to the social media platform to craft a message.” And as he rightly points out, the way in which Musk courts media attention is always likely to lead to some negative reviews. It is not difficult to see why the WSJ cites Musk as a liability for Tesla; he positions himself as bigger than his car brand. If you stopped the average man in the street, I’d say it is likely that they know more about what Musk gets up to than the engineering or design of a Tesla model.

And why did he choose to use “big oil” as his idea of an insult? Simply because his fan base is into electric cars, and oil, a fossil fuel, is the nemesis of those who are environmentally conscious. The oil industry probably doesn’t love Elon Musk much either, but as Asure points out, the oil industry often gets a “free pass” in the press, whereas the Tesla story is much more entertaining for any journalist.

And Musk often makes big claims that he can’t follow through on, which is more grist for the media’s mill. But, the point of this whole story is to illustrate how social media has become the battleground for characters like Musk and Trump. When their backs are against the wall they hit out in tweet form. And it often backfires on them, because calling people names makes things personal that should be treated with gravitas and diplomacy. However, neither Trump nor Musk possesses much of these qualities. While Musk’s tweets are entertaining, as are Trump’s, he is in danger of allowing his game playing to obliterate his Tesla brand; just as Trump’s outbursts have lowered the tone of the Office of the President of the United States.