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2022年4月15日星期五

Golden Watch | Musk and Twitter turmoil

 Because of the acquisition problem, Musk and Twitter are getting a lot of attention in the international market.

On April 14, Tesla CEO Elon Musk made a takeover offer to Twitter, intending to acquire it in cash at $54.20 per share, with an overall valuation of about $43.4 billion.

Musk said the reason for investing in Twitter is that it now has the potential to become a global platform for free speech, and I believe that free speech is a social responsibility for a functioning democracy.

And he believes that Twitter will neither thrive nor meet the needs of society. So, Twitter needs to transform into a private company.

Therefore, it is proposed to acquire 100% of Twitter's shares in cash at $54.20 per share.

As for whether the acquisition can be successful, on April 14, Musk said at the TED conference that if Twitter refuses, he still has a plan B. And said the acquisition is not valued for income.

Following Musk's announcement, Vanguard Group, one of the asset managers, announced that they had bought a 10.3% stake in Twitter, making it the largest shareholder.

Goldman Sachs said Musk’s offer price of $54.20 per share for Twitter was too low.

Saudi Prince Al Waleed bin Talal Al Saud, an investor who holds a 5.2% stake in Twitter, also said on social media that Musk's $54.2 purchase price proposal did not come close to the intrinsic value of Twitter, one of Twitter's largest long-term shareholders. One, he and investment firm Kingdom Holding Company (KHC) will reject the offer.

Twitter said it would review Elon Musk's offer at the advice of Goldman Sachs and Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati. Musk's plan is to buy Twitter at a cash valuation of about $43.4 billion.

Faced with some opposition, Musk launched a vote called "Taking Twitter private at $54.2 per share should be up to shareholders, not the board." Musk said it would be completely untenable if shareholders were not allowed to vote, and that shareholders, not the board, own the company.

Musk, who often influences the market and companies with his appeal, seems to be making a lot of layouts.

On March 27, some netizens asked Tesla CEO Elon Musk whether he would consider building a new social media platform, which is composed of open source algorithms, free speech is given the highest priority, and publicity is minimized. Musk responded that he was seriously considering the matter. Earlier, Musk said free speech was critical to the functioning of democracy and questioned whether Twitter strictly adhered to free speech principles.

Soon, on April 5, Twitter announced that it would appoint Musk to its board of directors.

Affected by this, Twitter (TWTR.N) rose in a straight line before the market, and is now up nearly 7%.

Musk owns 9.2% of Twitter. And the Twitter CEO also said: Musk is both a fanatical believer and a strong critic of Twitter, which is exactly what we need on Twitter.

Following the announcement, Musk said significant improvements to Twitter would be made in the coming months, adding that he looked forward to further collaboration with Parag Agrawal and the Twitter board.

A few days later, things turned around.

On April 11, Twitter CEO said: Elon Musk has decided not to join our board. Musk is our largest shareholder, and we will continue to take his advice.

Then, on April 13, Elon Musk was sued by a Twitter (NYSE: TWTR) shareholder for failing to disclose that he bought a substantial amount of the company's stock, which had an impact on the company's stock price. At this point, it was already known that Musk held a 9.2% stake in Twitter.

According to Bloomberg analysis, Musk does not join Twitter’s board of directors or wants to buy more shares. Musk currently holds about 9% of Twitter’s shares, and according to the internal restrictions of Twitter’s board of directors, his stake cannot exceed 14.9%, which means He can't get a say on the board, not only can't take over Twitter, but he can't have much influence over the Twitter service because it's very difficult to influence product decisions on the board. The Bloomberg report pointed out that Musk wants to acquire and influence Twitter, and by giving up his board seat, Musk can buy more shares of Twitter.

Musk's desire to change Twitter and his bullishness on Twitter seem to be related to the freedom that cryptocurrencies advocate. As a platform close to cryptocurrencies, Twitter has a large number of cryptocurrency users.

This brings up user expectations for Twitter and labels like free speech, decentralization, etc.

On April 7, former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said that he regrets Twitter. Although Dorsey has announced his resignation as CEO of Twitter, gradually fade out of Twitter. But he feels guilty about Twitter's role in promoting a "centralized internet."

Several well-known personalities have also expressed their views on Twitter's decentralization.

NBA Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said on social media that many technology giants, such as Google and Facebook, are calling their antitrust lawyers to ask if they can buy Twitter and get approval. Twitter is also on the phone with their lawyers to ask who could be their buyer.

Mark Cuban says Twitter may not choose to sell, but will find someone more friendly to buy Elon Musk's stock and kick him out. For the crypto community, a group of decentralized supporters should create a DAO to acquire Twitter, and in the future let token holders vote on topic trends and identity verification on social media.

However, FTX founder SBF proposed some implementation ideas for decentralized Twitter:

1. Tweets are on-chain, encrypted: The sender chooses who has access to them. If likes and retweets are also on-chain, this will force some L1s to scale to hundreds of thousands or even millions of TPS, but it will eventually happen.

2. Monetization comes in two forms: Tweet level, where the underlying protocol charges per message; UI level, which can be monetized or subsidized, for example, ads can be displayed, monetized through it, and used to pay for network fees. Each UI can have its own moderation policy, no longer is one person/company controlling speech.

3. The following can be integrated into Twitter: Tips/Payments/Monetization for Content Creators; NFTs/profiles/avatars; and DOGE .

A large number of users who advocate freedom and cryptocurrency are suggesting that Twitter move from web2 to web3, but if the huge business system of the Twitter platform is fully turned to decentralization, it will inevitably be a long process. But compared to the changes in the platform, the wealth created by Twitter in the hands of capital comes from users. Whether this can be decentralized may be what users care about after enthusiasm. It's like asking Musk if he's willing to give up his own interests and distribute the proceeds to users. I don't know what the result will be?

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