Elon Musk's blue checks have divided Crypto Twitter into the haves and the have nots

Quick Take

  • Elon Musk announced today that “Verified accounts are now prioritised”.
  • Here is how that is shaking out on Crypto Twitter.
  • Many of the larger CT accounts now have blue checks, creating a smaller, less visible class of no-check CT handles underneath them.

Twitter CEO Elon Musk announced this morning that “Verified accounts are now prioritised”. The tweet appears to indicate that accounts with blue checks will now feature more prominently in users’ Twitter feeds — and thus likely gain more followers and engagement than those without.

Musk’s program — in which people who pay $8 per month a rewarded with a blue check next to their name on Twitter — is controversial. The blue check previously indicated that Twitter had independently verified a users’ identity and that the user had some experience or authority in their field or profession. Under Musk’s new plan, anyone can buy one.

In addition, Musk appears to have given out some blue checks for free to celebrity accounts or handles with large followings even if they did not want it.

So, how does this rearrange Crypto Twitter? Put simply, there are now two classes of people: those with blue checks and those without.

And it appears that many of the most-followed accounts have received a blue check while some of the smaller, but often equally interesting, voices on Twitter are checkless. Crypto Twitter might see a bias toward blue-check voices from now, in other words.

The Block took a random sampling of well-followed accounts to see who got the blue carpet treatment and who is now standing outside the velvet rope.

Blue checks on Crypto Twitter

Vitalik Buterin — cofounder of Ethereum and subject of many crypto memes.

Vitalik Buterin's Twitter

CZ — founder of Binance, prolific tweeter, and target of U.S.-based anti-crypto enforcement actions.

CZ's Twitter

Brian Armstrong — CEO of Coinbase, the U.S.’s largest crypto exchange, and more recently a vocal antagonist of the SEC.

Brian Armstrong's Twitter

ZachXBT — “The Sherlock Holmes of crypto,” as he was once called by CoinTelegraph, is famous for his investigation of scams.

Sandeep Nailwal — co-founder of Polygon and founder of Crypto Relief, an India-based charity created during the Covid epidemic.

Sandeep Nailwal's Twitter

Tree of Alphawhite-hat hacker who once found a “potentially market-nuking” exploit on Coinbase.


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Tree of Alpha's Twitter

dbprolific tweeter of crypto news.

db's Twitter

Ryan Selkisof Messari, the crypto research outlet.

Ryan Selkis' Twitter

FatMan — whose research did so much to expose the luna/Terra stablecoin scam, leading to its ultimate collapse.

Fat Man's Twitter

Sam Bankman-Friedthe founder of the FTX exchange who is currently awaiting trial on criminal charges related to its collapse has had his access to the internet severely curtailed by a judge. And yet he has a blue tick, somehow.

SBF's Twitter

Ben Armstrong — aka Bitboy Crypto, a crypto YouTuber known for his aggressive approach to his critics.

BitBoy's Twitter

No-checks on Crypto Twitter

Jordan Fish (“Cobie”) — host of the “Up Only” podcast and famous for calling out low-quality projects.

Cobie's Twitter

Molly Whitethe writer behind Web 3 Is Going Just Great, a crypto-skeptic site that curates digital asset disasters.

Molly White's Twitter

Rektdiomedes“Curatoor” of The Daily Degen, a substack newsletter for DeFi news.

Rektiomedes' Twitter

Disclaimer: The former CEO and majority shareholder of The Block has disclosed a series of loans from former FTX and Alameda founder Sam Bankman-Fried.

© 2023 The Block. All Rights Reserved. This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

About Author

Jim is the former editor-in-chief of Insider's news division and the founding editorial director of DL News. Previously he was the founding editor of Business Insider UK. He has also been managing editor at Adweek, an advertising columnist at CBS Interactive, and a Knight-Bagehot Fellow at Columbia Business School. His work has appeared in Slate, Salon, The Independent, MTV, The Nation and AOL. His investigative journalism changed the law in the US First Circuit Court of Appeals (U.S. v. Kravetz), the Third Circuit Court of Appeals (North Jersey Media v. Ashcroft), New Jersey (In Re El-Atriss), and New York State (Mosallem v. Berenson). The US Supreme Court cited his work on the death penalty in the concurrence to Baze v. Rees, on the issue of whether lethal injection is cruel or unusual. He won the Neal award for business journalism in 2005 for a series investigating bribes and kickbacks in the advertising business. You can reach him on Twitter @Jim_Edwards or Linkedin https://www.linkedin.com/in/jimedwards123/


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