Palo Alto, California, U.S.
|Fate||Merged March 2000 with Confinity to form PayPal|
Elon Musk reacquired the domain 2017
|Website||www.x.com (defunct, archive)|
x.com (redirects to Twitter)
In popular culture
X.com was an online bank founded by Elon Musk, Harris Fricker, Christopher Payne, and Ed Ho in 1999 in Palo Alto, California. In 2000, it merged with competitor Confinity and in 2001, the merged company changed its name to PayPal.
Customers were not assessed fees or overdraft penalties. New member referrals were rewarded with a $20 cash card and a $10 card for each new sign-up. These features were unique for their time. For instance, customers could send money to another person by entering their email address into X.com. Additionally, customers could open an account strictly with online registration with no need to mail a check.
Throughout the 1990s, Elon Musk envisioned creating a full-service online bank that provided checking and savings accounts, brokerages, and insurance. Musk commented in a 1999 interview with CBS MarketWatch: "I think we're at the third stage now where people are ready to use the Internet as their main financial repository."
In January 1999, Musk formally began planning an online bank while in the process of selling his company Zip2. A month after Zip2 was purchased by Compaq, Musk invested about $12 million into co-founding X.com in March 1999 with Harris Fricker, Christopher Payne, and Ed Ho. Fricker worked with Musk when Musk was an intern at the Bank of Nova Scotia, Payne was a friend of Fricker, and Ho was an engineer at Silicon Graphics and executive at Zip2. The company was initially run from a house before moving to an office in Palo Alto, California.
In March 2000, X.com merged with its fiercest competitor Confinity, a software company also based in Palo Alto which had also developed an easy payment system. The new company was named X.com. Musk was its biggest shareholder and was appointed as its CEO. Started in 1998, Confinity's product PayPal enabled users with PalmPilots to send money to each other through its infrared ports. Subsequently, PayPal developed to allow users to send money using email and the web.
In September 2000, when Musk was in Australia for a honeymoon trip, the X.com board voted for a change of CEO from Musk to Peter Thiel, the co-founder of Confinity. In June 2001, X.com changed its name to PayPal.
Repurposing of domain
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- Statt, Nick. "Elon Musk now owns X.com, the defunct domain of his second startup". CNBC. Retrieved September 18, 2023.
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- Chafkin, Max (2021). The Contrarian: Peter Thiel and Silicon Valley's Pursuit of Power. New York: Penguin. ISBN 978-1-9848-7853-3. OCLC 1241240936.
- Soni, Jimmy (2022). The Founders: The Story of Paypal and the Entrepreneurs Who Shaped Silicon Valley. New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 978-1-5011-9725-3. OCLC 1310245824.
- Vance, Ashlee (2017) . Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future (2nd ed.). New York: Ecco. ISBN 978-0-06-230125-3. OCLC 1050341708.