Elon Musk’s plans for X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter, could bring financial services to its users and become an American equivalent of China’s WeChat super-app. Tencent, the company behind WeChat, has been refining the model since 2011 and now it is a go-to app for many things from shopping to filing for divorce with one click. Musk believes that, if done correctly, X could capture “half of the global financial system” and include cryptocurrencies like Dogecoin (DOGE) as part of it. X could be a crucial part of the crypto industry’s future, as it is the “global town square” for crypto business and innovation in real-time.

This week’s Crypto Biz also covers the Italian central bank’s take on DeFi, PacWest’s merger with Banc of California and more.

Elon Musk says X will offer an “entire financial world” in the coming months

According to the Twitter CEO and CTO Elon Musk, the rebranding of the platform to X is part of a bigger scheme to provide financial services. The users of X will be able to access a “complete financial world” on the platform in the upcoming months. In the “everything app”, digital assets will be taken into account, with Musk proposing that Dogecoin (DOGE) may have a major role in X services. In April, he proclaimed that the platform would soon offer crypto and stock trading through a partnership with eToro. Musk believes that, if implemented successfully, X can cover “half of the global financial system” with plans for banking, payments and more.

Italian central bank supports DeFi tokenization project with Polygon, Fireblocks

The Italian central bank is embracing decentralized finance by selecting a DeFi project to help financial institutions get into DeFi and tokenized assets. Cetif Advisory, Polygon Labs, Fireblocks and other organizations are collaborating on the development of the project, which will involve participation from Italian banks, asset management companies and 10 other financial institutions. The project has no “commercialisation purpose” but will extend “the scope of analysis” of security tokens on secondary markets — an area of growing interest within the crypto industry.

The project is part of the ongoing development of Web 3.0, a blockchain-based platform for AI and machine learning applications. This is part of a larger effort to bring the advantages of AI and blockchain technology to the global economy. China has also made strides in the AI and blockchain space, with the launch of its AI Anchor project. This initiative has the potential to revolutionize the way AI is used in the financial sector.

PacWest stock flash crash recovers after rescue merger with Banc of Cali

Shares in PacWest bank plummeted by 27% on July 25, but quickly recovered upon the announcement that it had merged with the Banc of California, as both banks sought to strengthen their positions in the wake of the banking industry turmoil in early 2023. The combination of the two banks is estimated to bring together assets of around $36 billion and total loans of over $25 billion. PacWest’s market capitalization is approximately $1.2 billion, while Banc of California’s is roughly $764 million. The merger was backed by two private-equity firms, Warburg Pincus and Centerbridge, who have provided $400 million in equity, giving them a 19% stake in the combined business.

Crypto Investors Cool on Bitcoin Funds, Turning to ETH and XRP

It seems that crypto investors have lost some of their enthusiasm for Bitcoin-related investment products, marking the first week of outflows since BlackRock filed for a spot Bitcoin ETF in June. According to a report from CoinShares, BTC investment products experienced outflows of $13 million for the week ending July 21, which reversed five weeks of inflows. Short Bitcoin products also saw outflows of $5.5 million during the week. Conversely, ETH and XRP investment products registered combined inflows of $9.2 million over the last week. Additionally, Solana (SOL) and Polygon (MATIC) have seen some inflows, which may have been due to Ripple’s partial victory over the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. In spite of this, Bitcoin remains the main digital asset investment product, with $558 million of inflows in 2023.

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