Crypto exchange Binance, Musk’s co-investor, to help Twitter with blockchain

By Krystal Hu

(Reuters) – Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange that has invested $500 million into Elon Musk’s buyout of Twitter Inc, is creating a team to work on how blockchain and crypto could be helpful to Twitter, the company’s spokesperson said on Friday. As one of Elon Musk’s equity co-investors to fund his $44 billion deal, Binance said it will brainstorm plans and strategies that could help Elon Musk run the platform.

The newly-formed team will explore how to build on-chain solutions to address Twitter’s issues including proliferation of bot accounts, a problem Musk has repeatedly complained about and almost reneged his offer on.

Musk’s Twitter takeover saga came to an end on Thursday when the deal officially closed after months of twists and turns in and outside the courtroom, and Musk immediately fired top chief executives at the social media platform.

Twitter had began to explore ways to incorporate blockchain technology under co-founder and former CEO Jack Dorsey, who has been a proponent of bitcoin.

In November 2021, Twitter launched an internal crypto team to build features that involve such technologies. The company introduced the ability for paid Twitter subscribers to use non-fungible tokens (NFTs) as their avatar photo.

In text messages with confidants that were released as part of the litigation with Twitter, Musk discussed the possibility of placing Twitter on the blockchain, though he later appeared to decide such a move would not work.

It’s unclear how actively involved co-investors like Binance could be in Twitter’s future as a minority investor, since Musk fully controls the board and decision-making in the now-private Twitter. Most of his co-investors are funds such as Sequoia Capital, Fidelity Management, Andreessen Horowitz and Brookfield. Binance’s Chief Executive Changpeng Zhao, known as CZ, is an active Twitter user with over 7 million followers on the platform.

(Reporting by Krystal Hu in New York, additional reporting by Sheila Dang in Dallas)

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