(2024-05-06) Jack Dorsey's $21 Million Pledge Boosts Bitcoin And Nostr Development

Jack Dorsey's $21 Million Pledge Boosts Bitcoin and Nostr Development. Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey pledges $21 million via his #startsmall initiative to OpenSats. This aims to drive Bitcoin and Nostr forward, with the goal of making Bitcoin the native currency of the internet.

Jack Dorsey leaves Bluesky board, calls Musk’s X a ‘freedom platform’. Jack Dorsey has left Bluesky, the decentralised social media platform that he helped start.

Neither Dorsey nor Bluesky have said why or how he has left the board.

Dorsey backed Bluesky in 2019 as an open source blueprint that he wanted Twitter to move to. He joined the board after Musk purchased Twitter in 2022.

An Interview With Jack Dorsey.

You didn't just leave Bluesky's board, you deleted your profile.

We were doing something similar to what we did at Square at the time, which was fund a bunch of open source developers to work on the Bitcoin protocol, because it directly benefited everything Square was doing in terms of money movement.

I wanted to do something similar with Twitter, because it was the only way to get out of a lot of the issues we were seeing around the decisions we had to make on accounts, and the pressures we had as a public company based entirely on a brand advertising model.

So what if we created a team that was independent to us, that built a protocol that Twitter could use, and then build on top of?

Twitter would become the interface, and we could build a valuable business by competing to be the best view on top of this massive corpus of conversation that's happening in real time.

We eventually landed on Jay [Graber]. She seemed great, and we decided to fund her. Around that time, I was also planning my exit [from Twitter], and Parag [Agarwal] was going to take over

In Jay's case, she decided she wanted to set up a completely different entity, a B Corp. That accelerated even more when Elon made the acquisition offer, and it very quickly turned into more of a survival thing, where she felt she needed to build a company, and build a model around it, get VCs into it, get a board, issue stock, and all these things. That was the first time I felt like, whoa, this isn’t going in a direction I'm really happy with, or that wasn’t the intention.

throughout all that, it became more and more evident that Bluesky had a lot of great ideas. And they're ideas I believe in.

But what happened is, people started seeing Bluesky as something to run to, away from Twitter. It's the thing that's not Twitter, and therefore it's great. And Bluesky saw this exodus of people from Twitter show up, and it was a very, very common crowd.

I think the greatest idea — which we need — is an algorithm store, where you choose how you see all the conversations. But little by little, they started asking Jay and the team for moderation tools, and to kick people off. And unfortunately they followed through with it.

That was the second moment I thought, uh, nope. This is literally repeating all the mistakes we made as a company. This is not a protocol that's truly decentralized. It’s another app.

Around the same time, I found Nostr. We don't know who the leader is, it's like this anonymous Brazilian. It has no board, no company behind it, no funding. It's a truly open protocol. The development environment is moving fast. And I gave a bunch of money to them.

Day by day, I learned that this was actually the path. It emerged from something that was not Twitter-driven

So I just decided to delete my account on Bluesky, and really focus on Nostr, and funding that to the best of my ability. I asked to get off the board as well, because I just don't think a protocol needs a board or wants a board

I think there was a general agreement that we wanted different things, and I think we had only met as a board once.

All that said, I really respect Jay. She was under a lot of pressure to survive and do the things that she did. But directionally, I just don't align with it.

I'd love to see more effort placed on open protocols akin to Nostr

If you go back to my thread, and Mike Masnick’s Protocols, Not Platforms article, it hits every single one of those things, whereas Bluesky ultimately just went another direction.

Twitter is still a corporation. X is still a corporation. It has to make a conscious choice about the rights it grants to users, based on its policies. The fortunate thing is it's no longer a public company with a profit incentive based on an advertising model that can be wildly swayed by the whims of advertisers moving their budget elsewhere if they don't like what you're doing.

You have to build up a lot more than advertising to make that model work. You have to build subscriptions, which Elon is doing. You have to build commerce

These are choices that can be made, but it doesn't mean that it's going to be the same level of business for quite some time, until you figure out a completely different model around it.

you're still the face of censorship, because you presided over Twitter during a truly censorious regime.

I think the core, critical sin was choosing the advertising model to begin with. Brand advertising is not like direct advertisement, which is more programmatic. It requires something like a Disney to essentially give you a favor, because the only players that matter to them are Google and Facebook

We needed a model. Facebook's model was really good. So we came up with an ad program and ran with it.

when you're entirely dependent on that, if a brand like P&G or Unilever doesn't like what's happening on the platform, and they threaten to pull the budget, which accounts for like 20% of your revenue? You have no choice

We have to move away from this dependency on brand advertisement. We were moving into commerce, direct response, and payments

As a public company, that's very hard to do, because every move you make is scrutinized and it reflects in your stock price

X has fewer than half the employees it used to, and it seems like product development has accelerated.

keep in mind, it was a brand advertising business, and a brand advertising business needs a huge sales staff. Over 50 to 60% of Twitter employees were in sales.

*Was Parag also determined to remove Twitter from that model?

Yeah, he was.

And that was sad to me. I really think Parag and Elon could have gotten along*

All my tweets about the Donald Trump suspension — I said very clearly, this is right for Twitter, the business, but it was absolutely wrong for the world and the internet.

According to the Twitter Files, at least what I saw, it looked like there were open lines of communication between people on your team and the government.

I think it was problematic, and I also don't think the people who got called out in the Twitter Files get enough credit for pushing back on government requests

Twitter has a track record of fighting the U.S. on free speech causes, especially around transparency reports. Opening the lens even broader to other governments, we had even more fights. Tons of fights with India, Turkey, Russia, Nigeria.

I would have appreciated if... like, just release all the emails to the public. Just release all the information, instead of getting this little lens through these very specific people

you'll have people like Matt who can query this, and write a story in their way, and that will be meaningful. But to be able to see the full context, and everything that's happening, is also important and useful.

Elon has taken a different tack. Our principle was around free speech on the internet as a general rule, and that we would fight governments on that. His is free speech as determined by local law, and that means if India says you have to take these accounts down, you have to take those accounts down, because they're against the law.

I think it points to the need for a protocol where you don't have to make these decisions at all, right? Because you don't control the protocol.

this whole ‘freedom of speech, not reach,’ is yet another tool of censorship in the end, because the algorithm is determining reach. If you truly believe in the freedom of speech, you gotta go to the heart of where it's now being decided. And that's not the policy, it's the actual algorithm itself.

David Gerard: Jack Dorsey, Bluesky, decentralised social networks and the very common crowd

The thing that really upset Dorsey: Bluesky users demanded moderation and Bluesky put it into place. Yeah, that was the whole issue.

Dorsey is obsessed with the idea of a social media platform that nobody can be kicked from.

There’s a kind of person who is the reason that blocks and bans exist. They’re also the ones who argue loudest that blocking is evil

Decentralisation is not a user feature

Dorsey tried again and gave a pile of funding to Nostr, another decentralised social network that requires you to sort out a cryptographic key pair before you can log in. The only people who wanted Nostr turned out to be crypto bros trying to pick each other’s pockets.

There’s plenty of decentralisation-induced stupidity in Bluesky. All blocks are public because the back-end protocol requires it — despite the many trust and safety people who told them repeatedly that this was a standard vector for targeted harassment

The Pirate Wires interview talks a lot about uncensorable, truly decentralised protocols — but somehow fails at any point to mention Mastodon or ActivityPub. For some reason, neither Pirate Wires nor Dorsey are interested in these existing real-world examples.

Dorsey tells Solana: And Bluesky saw this exodus of people from Twitter show up, and it was a very, very common crowd.

The context, though, is that Dorsey’s final Bluesky post was a link to a podcast featuring Robert F. Kennedy Jr. A wave of Bluesky users proceeded to rip the piss out of him

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