‘CZ’ Zhao on why Binance bet big on Twitter despite Musk’s machinations • TechCrunch
It’s hard to imagine committing to investing $500 million in someone seeing a company, only to watch that individual instantly try to distance themselves from it. But Changpeng “CZ”
Zhao told the audience tonight at the Web Summit in Lisbon that he didn’t bother when, after committing to investing $500 million in Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter, Musk then tried for months to blow up the deal.
First and foremost, the founder and CEO of Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency platform, suggested, “When we invest in a transaction, we feel very comfortable if the transaction goes through. We are very comfortable if the transaction doesn’t go through. We always want to get to the point where we are in that situation.” “.
In fact, while Zhao admitted that he was “frankly” a bit “surprised” when the deal finally went through — Zhao said, laughing on stage, “Mask was a very difficult man for me to predict” — Rejoining as an investor, active user, and supporter of Web 3 was a no-brainer for “many different reasons” The interviewer told Katie Prescott of The Times.
He said, for example, that Binance wants to be “totally supportive of freedom of expression” because Binance’s big ambition is to “increase the freedom of money” and said that freedom of speech is closely linked to freedom of money.
Freedom of speech is also critical to Chow as a founder who finds himself in the headlines and doesn’t always like what he reads. Zhao, whose personal fortune is estimated at tens of billions of dollars, said, “Youngsters are like us, they have our followers. We can correct the news.” (In response to Prescott’s question if Chow thought Twitter was restricted on this front previously, he answered no.)
Zhao also sees Twitter as an important tool for business development, he suggested, describing himself as an “active Twitter user” who uses the app more than he does Binance. (“I don’t trade. I just store my crypto on Binance and then use Twitter,” where the “crypto community lives” and “Where the politicians go.”)
However, of course, the biggest driver is Musk himself, who Zhao said Binance “loves to support” his “different ideas.”
Despite the massive vetting of Musk, Zhao insisted he wasn’t receiving many details about what’s going on inside Twitter HQ at the moment, telling Prescott he had heard about Musk’s apparent plan to charge verified Twitter users $8 a month at the same time. rest of the world.
But he said, “We are very supportive of anything that can reduce bots on Twitter.” Zhao further suggested that what he appreciates most is that Musk doesn’t trade for long. “You can see the speed of change in Twitter is much faster now. In the past year, I don’t know how many new features (the company has launched); I haven’t seen much new. But I fully expect that with Elon in charge now, the speed at which new features are being rolled out will be much faster” .
Not all of them will be adhered to, Zhao added. “I would actually say that the majority of them will not comply,” he said. “But this is how you find out the rest of the 10% of the features that will remain; by identifying a lot of new features.”
As for when Zhao expects a return on his money — Musk said he’s planning to acquire Twitter public again In a few years he objected, unsurprisingly. “We are very long-term investors, so we expect to be involved in the next 10 to 50 to 100 years. We don’t mind the short term. We don’t care about that. We do care about the long-term potential of the platform, and with Twitter plus Elon? Independently, they have a lot In terms of potential, but combined, there’s high potential. Ten to 20 years from now, we’re pretty confident that this will be a much stronger platform than Twitter yesterday.”