Elon Musk’s social media venture, formerly known as Twitter and now rebranded as X, is making significant strides in the world of finance. Recent developments reveal that X has secured payment licenses in multiple American states, notably including a currency transmitter license in Rhode Island.
Musk, a prominent advocate for cryptocurrencies, has hinted at X’s potential support for digital currencies. He even temporarily replaced the iconic Twitter bird logo with Dogecoin’s Shiba Inu dog ahead of the platform’s rebranding to X. While the obtained licenses enable broader payment services, it remains uncertain whether they encompass cryptocurrency transactions.
The list of states granting money transmitter licenses to X includes Arizona, Maryland, Georgia, Michigan, Missouri, and New Hampshire. This move suggests that Musk may be planning to transform X into a nationwide payment processing platform akin to Venmo or PayPal, a company he co-founded.
Musk’s ambitions for X extend beyond social media. He envisions it as an “everything app,” indicating a broader scope that encompasses financial services.
Rhode Island’s recent issuance of a payment processing license to X underscores the platform’s commitment to financial services. The Department of Business Regulation clarified that businesses facilitating money transmission for their customers, including traditional wire transfers (e.g., Western Union) and electronic transfers (e.g., PayPal), must obtain a currency transmission license.
For companies wishing to operate cryptocurrency exchange and custody services, a state currency transmission license is also required.
Fintechs are only permitted to do so in “extremely rare situations” in which the business “is registered as a true ‘agent’ of the Rhode Island licensed currency transmitter… and money transmission is not the core profit-making business of fintech.”
In the state of New Hampshire, “money transmission’ means engaging in the business of selling or issuing payment instruments or stored value, or receiving currency or monetary value for transmission to another location.”
The laws of the state further indicate that “an administrator or exchanger that accepts and transmits convertible virtual currency or buys or sells convertible virtual currency for any reason is a money transmitter under federal regulations.”