By Frances Yue
Reaction in the crypto community has been mixed to Twitter’s move to start allowing some users to use their non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, as their profile pictures on Thursday.
Users of Twitter /zigman2/quotes/203180645/composite TWTR +2.68% ’s Blue Subscription service, which charges a monthly subscription fee of$2.99, can now connect their Twitter account with a cryptocurrency wallet, and choose an NFT as the profile picture using Apple’s /zigman2/quotes/202934861/composite AAPL +0.17% iOS devices.
NFT profile pictures are shown in a hexagonal shape, in contrast with the regular circle shape. After clicking on the profile picture, Twitter shows details about the NFT, including the collection’s name, creator, owner and the NFT’s smart contract address.
Such NFTs can come at eye-popping prices, including the digital collage made by artist Beeple , which sold in March at a Christie’s auction for $69.3 million. But many NFTs can fetch about $100 or less, while also involving transaction fees paid to marketplaces and blockchain miners.
The new Twitter feature soon drew interest. Brian Armstrong, CEO of Nasdaq-listed crypto exchange Coinbase /zigman2/quotes/225893452/composite COIN -1.88% , picked an NFT from the collection Byteosaurus , which consists of nearly 10,000 different NFT dinosaurs, as his new profile picture.
However, not everyone is a fan, with some hesitant to pay for the monthly subscription service to get their NFT profile photo verified. It also is unclear if Twitter will extend the feature to all users.
Elon Musk, chief executive at Tesla Inc. /zigman2/quotes/203558040/composite TSLA -6.42% , wrote Friday on Twitter that the new feature is “annoying.”
“Twitter is spending engineering resources on this bs while crypto scammers are throwing a spambot block party in every thread!?” Musk wrote.
Musk, in the past, has been impersonated by scammers who deceived consumers by telling them that they are giving away cryptocurrencies. Regulators in May indicated that related scams cost consumers more than $80 million over a six-month stretch , a more than 10-fold increase in the number of reports from a year before.
However, some teased Musk, an advocate of Shiba Inu-themed meme token Dogecoin /zigman2/quotes/226077044/realtime DOGEUSD +0.13% by pointing out: “you literally tasked teams of engineers at tesla on accepting payments with dog money.” Tesla has started accepting Dogecoin as payments for its merchandise earlier this month.
Some Twitter users also made fun of the hexagonal shape where the verified NFT profile pictures are displayed in on the platform.
Purchasers of NFTs obtain ownership to digital assets, such as digital artworks, that are stored on the blockchain. However, it’s important to note that they do not necessarily own copyrights of the artworks, which are held by creators unless they reach an agreement.
In 2021, users sent at least $44.2 billion cryptocurrencies to two types of Ethereum smart contracts associated with NFT marketplaces and collections, according to a report by research firm Chainalysis.