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Twitter has thought about holding bitcoin, not decided yet: CNBC

FILE PHOTO: The Twitter logo is seen outside the company headquarters in San Francisco, California, U.S., January 11, 2021. REUTERS/Stephen Lam/File Photo

(Reuters) - Twitter Inc has thought about whether to hold bitcoin on its balance sheet, but has not made any changes yet, the social media platform’s chief financial officer, Ned Segal, told CNBC on Wednesday.

In an interview with CNBC, Segal said Twitter had considered how it might pay vendors or employees using bitcoin, should they ask to transact using the virtual currency.

“We might consider whether we would be transferring dollars to bitcoin at the time of the transaction or if we wanted bitcoin on our balance sheet ready to complete that transaction,” Segal said.

Segal’s comments come a couple of days after billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk’s Tesla Inc revealed the automaker had bought $1.5 billion of the cryptocurrency and would soon accept it as a form of payment for cars, sending the cryptocurrency shooting higher.

On General Motors Co’s earnings call on Wednesday, Chief Executive Mary Barra, responding to a question about accepting bitcoin as payment for vehicles, said, “This is something we’ll monitor and we’ll evaluate. If there’s strong customer demand for it in the future, there’s nothing that precludes us from doing that.”

But unlike Musk, Barra said “We don’t have any plans to invest in bitcoin. Full stop there.”

Shares of Twitter were up 11% on Tuesday after the company beat Wall Street targets for quarterly sales and profit and followed its social media peers to forecast a strong start to 2021 as ad spending rebounds from rock bottom.

Twitter top boss Jack Dorsey, who is also the chief executive of payments firm Square Inc, is a known bitcoin enthusiast and has said he believes the internet will have its own native currency.

Square in October said it had purchased about 4,709 bitcoins at an aggregate purchase price of $50 million.

Reporting by Subrat Patnaik in Bengaluru and Anna Irrera in London; Editing by Ramakrishnan M. and Jonathan Oatis

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