Twitter's Bitcoin Tipping Feature Could Be a Fatal Disrupter to Entire Wire Transfer Industry

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Twitter's new global, free Bitcoin funds transfer feature is a game changer.

Every major bank or international wire transfer service provider has been put on notice.

On Thursday, Twitter launched a new "tipping" feature for its Apple iOS users, enabling them to send dollarized amounts of Bitcoin to their favorite content creators for free.

On the surface, that sounds quaint. In actuality, it's anything but quaint for the banks and wire transfer services that make money by charging fees. To them, it's more akin to a financial-fee fight club that serves sucker punches and knuckle sandwiches, only to be washed down by a molotov cocktail with a napalm chaser.

The Twitter tipping feature is made possible by the Strike digital wallet app that runs on Bitcoin's Lighting network. Strike enables instant funds transfers at scale, anywhere in the world. It was the most downloaded app in El Salvador when that country announced in June its plans to make Bitcoin legal tender this month.

Strike CEO, Jack Mallers, made the official announcement during a demo video of the payment feature he posted on Twitter. A little later, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey confirmed the news with a simple "100%" emoji stamp as he retweeted Mallers' announcement.

"Boom. We just made an instant, free remittance payment from Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A. to San Salvador, El Salvador over Twitter. Why would anyone ever use Western Union again. When you take one of the world's largest social media networks and you combine it with the world's best open monetary network , Twitter accidentally becomes one of the best remitting experiences in the world," said Mallers.

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But the verbal smackdown didn't stop there. Mallers went on to say that the combination punch of Twitter and Strike could deliver a disruptive knockout to the entire wire transfer service industry.

"This one single payment standard, in this one single global monetary network is dematerializing all existing monetary networks," said Mallers.

Ouch, that's going to sting a bunch of bottom lines. Especially considering that the fees for domestic wire transfers to a bank or vendor can cost up to $45, while international wire transfers can run between $10 to $85 for a single transaction.

Twitter confirmed that its tips feature has already begun global rollout for all Apple iOS users. It will be available to Android users in the next few weeks. The social media giant also stressed that it will not levy a fee or take a portion of any Bitcoin tip transfers.

While Dorsey's support of Bitcoin is not a surprise, the future impact of this disruptive tech to banking and financial services' revenues will most certainly be a surprise as Bitcoin adoption grows.

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