Binance invests in Elon Musk takeover, cementing Twitter's crypto ties


Binance's investment in Elon Musk's Twitter bid.


Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by volume, is investing $500 million in Elon Musk’s hostile takeover of Twitter, the company confirmed this morning. A new SEC filing revealed today that about a dozen new investors had signed onto Musk’s $46 billion buyout, including venture capital firm Sequoia ($800 million), Fidelity ($316 million), and a16z ($400 million). The new investments total about $7.14 billion.

“We’re excited to help Elon realize a new vision for Twitter,” Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao said in a statement. “We hope to be able to play a role in bringing social media and web3 together and broadening the use and adoption of crypto and blockchain technology.”

Musk’s own relationship with the larger cryptocurrency community is contentious; the Tesla CEO has, in classic Musk fashion, flip-flopped on his opinions of crypto many times over the last few years. Binance doesn’t seem at all bothered by that sore lack of commitment.

Good news for crypto Twitter? — If you’ve spent more than a few minutes on Twitter in the last year or so, you probably at least know of the existence of “crypto Twitter,” a subset of users that’s all-in on cryptocurrency projects. Twitter has generally been welcoming of this crowd, thanks in no small part to ex-CEO Jack Dorsey’s own affinity for Bitcoin. Twitter has rolled out a few crypto-related features so far, including the option to set and verify NFTs as profile pictures.

Like Dorsey, Musk is generally bullish on crypto — hence Binance’s willingness to throw half a billion at his takeover. Musk’s plans for Twitter are, as it stands, all over the place, and he hasn’t really mentioned crypto as a priority for his newly-private company. The mere possibility Musk will further integrate cryptocurrency and Web3 ideals into Twitter has apparently been enough to garner interest from Binance.

But this is Elon we’re talking about — Binance is betting big on Musk’s willingness to embrace crypto fully. The company could soon find its ambitions are misplaced in Musk, though. As is the case with many of his ventures, Musk is most interested in cryptocurrency when it’s used as the butt of a bad joke — hence his continued interest in Dogecoin.

If Binance can count on any crypto Twitter improvements in the near future, it may be the removal of the many, many crypto bots pushing scams across the platform. Musk has said one of his priorities with Twitter is to “defeat the spam bots or die trying.” As for the rest of Binance’s hopes... it’s likely not even Musk knows whether or not he’ll end up following through on those.