Kevin O'Leary Wants to Buy TikTok, Talks Potential For Crypto Payments On The Platform

Kevin O'Leary, famous for his venture capital investments and for hosting "Shark Tank," is also a strong proponent of crypto. He currently holds a "5% weighting" of Bitcoin in his portfolio and has invested in numerous crypto businesses. However, the Canadian investor has his eyes set on his biggest investment yet and wants to incorporate crypto. 

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O'Leary has been outspoken about his desire to buy the sixth-largest social media platform, TikTok. The platform has surged in popularity over the past several years, reaching more than 1.2 billion monthly active users. However, the U.S. government has pushed for ByteDance, TikTok's parent company, to sell the company or face a potential ban on the U.S. The law gives ByteDance 270 days to sell TikTok or potentially face some severe consequences, the largest of which would be a ban in the U.S. The final date for ByteDance to divest from TikTok is Jan. 19, 2025. However, President Joe Biden can extend the deadline by 90 days if he believes that ByteDance is making significant progress toward a sale. 

This legislation has raised questions about which entities could potentially purchase TikTok. In a post on X from O'Leary, he said, "TikTok is a very important platform and this is an issue that won't go away. Everyone knows TikTok leaks data to the CCP. It's not a secret. It's gotta be sold! I'm proposing purchasing these assets into a new American company."

O'Leary highlights a contentious issue surrounding TikTok: whether the company uses the data it gathers to spy on Americans. While the evidence on whether ByteDance and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) are spying on American users is inconclusive, there is evidence that the CCP has leverage over ByteDance and all other businesses under its jurisdiction. Regardless, the U.S. government sees TikTok as a potential national security threat, leading to a call for ByteDance to sell TikTok.

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On a Web3 podcast, O'Leary spoke about his desire to purchase TikTok and potentially introduce crypto payments into the platform. He noted that the use of crypto "would have to be compliant, transparent, and auditable so users would know who sent and received transactions. I would provide that. I think that's the potential of a platform this large." 

In addition to crypto payments, the TikTok creator fund, which pays users for posting content that does well, could also benefit from crypto. As TikTok has users all over the world, it could be beneficial to allow creators to earn crypto, as it would increase the ability of people to access funds and send gifts to others on livestreams.

If O'Leary were to buy TikTok and include crypto payments, it could lead to significant adoption by users, particularly Gen Z, who constitute a substantial portion of TikTok's user base. 

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