Binance CEO Says Support for Free Speech is Why He Invested in Twitter

By Catarina Demony and Sergio Gonçalves

LISBON (Reuters) – The chief executive of Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange, said he was “extremely supportive” of free speech and that it was the main reason his company decided to invest $500 million in Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter Inc.

Binance’s Changpeng Zhao, known as CZ, who is an active Twitter user with over 7 million followers, said there were “very good reasons” why he invested in the platform.

“The first is that we want to be extremely supportive of free speech,” Zhao said at the opening event of Europe’s biggest tech conference, Web Summit, in Lisbon, adding that Twitter is “the place where people express their opinions”.

“It’s an important platform for free speech – that’s the number one reason,” he added.

Musk’s Twitter takeover saga came to an end on Thursday when the deal was officially closed after months of twists and turns inside and outside the courtroom, and Musk immediately fired the seniors. platform leaders.

It’s unclear to what extent co-investors like Binance might be actively involved in Twitter’s future as a minority investor, since Musk fully controls the board and decision-making in the now-private Twitter.

Most of its co-investors in the $44 billion deal are funds including Sequoia Capital, Fidelity Management, Andreessen Horowitz and Brookfield. Binance said last week that it was creating a team to work on how blockchain and crypto could benefit Twitter.

“I’m a heavy Twitter user,” Zhao said, adding that Binance plans to be a long-term investor in the platform. “I want to invest in products that are important to our industry.”

Musk said Tuesday that Twitter would charge $8 for its Blue service, which includes its sought-after “verified” badge in its drive to monetize the service and make the social media network less reliant on ads. Zhao said he supported the idea.

Asked about other ideas Musk has for the platform, Zhao said, “Elon Musk is a very difficult guy to predict.”

(Reporting by Catarina Demony and Sergio Goncalves; Editing by Richard Pullin)

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