Elon Musk profile, blurred background

Elon Musk Wants To Control Your Entire Financial Life, What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

According to an audio recording of a pretty major all-staff call at The Company Formerly Known as Twitter Before Elon Musk Destroyed It, Musk himself and CEO Linda Yaccarino are planning a major new suite of services at X that would turn the app into a mega-powerful financial hub. 

Recommended Videos

“I actually mean someone’s entire financial life,” Musk said on the audio obtained by The Verge. “If it involves money. It’ll be on our platform. Money or securities or whatever. So, it’s not just like send $20 to my friend. I’m talking about, like, you won’t need a bank account.”

Is this scary-sounding coming from a powerful and extremely unpredictable billionaire? Yes. Is it without precedent? No. Remember, Musk was the creator of a little dot com boom-era online bank called X.com that later became Paypal. Lots of people noticed this throwback when he renamed Twitter in what seemed like a questionable move at the time. Now, it’s starting to make more sense, even if it’s still questionable.

On the call, Musk spoke with a kind of nostalgia about his financial services past, as well as a frustration that they didn’t get it right in his mind after he sold it. “The X/PayPal product roadmap was written by myself and David Sacks actually in July of 2000,” Musk said. “And for some reason, PayPal, once it became eBay, not only did they not implement the rest of the list, but they actually rolled back a bunch of key features, which is crazy. So PayPal is actually a less complete product than what we came up with in July of 2000, so 23 years ago.”

It seems like Musk has been planning his financial tycoon comeback for longer than we realized, though Yaccarino was not secretive about their shared desire to turn X into “an everything app” when she was first appointed CEO a few months ago. And he wants it to happen soon, very soon. “It would blow my mind if we don’t have that rolled out by the end of next year,” Musk said. The company still has the hard work of securing several difficult financial permits, as well as people’s trust.

Musk has been rolling out new programs for some of Twitter’s users that require small payments, under the reasoning that such a requirement will reduce bots, thus obtaining their financial information. Could this be a bid to try out financial management in the app on a small scale?

Is any of this going to work? Who knows! This kind of “everything app” has been very successful in parts of Asia. Take the Chinese app, WeChat, which Musk has said “is great” and seems to be emulating. These super apps take care of shopping, payments, transportation, chat, etc. all in one locale. But isn’t Musk supposed to be the eccentric billionaire who changed the world with his unique genius ideas? Shouldn’t he be coming up with his own ideas? That anyone would trust this guy with their entire financial lives is truly distressing.

(featured image: Nathan Howard/Getty Images)

The Mary Sue is supported by our audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a small affiliate commission. Learn more about our Affiliate Policy
Image of Cammy Pedroja
Cammy Pedroja
Author and independent journalist since 2015. Frequent contributor of news and commentary on social justice, politics, culture, and lifestyle to publications including The Mary Sue, Newsweek, Business Insider, Slate, Women, USA Today, and Huffington Post. Lover of forests, poetry, books, champagne, and trashy TV.