Binance’s support for Elon Musk’s Twitter offering bolsters “Web3” vision

Binance is the largest crypto exchange in the world, handling billions of dollars in trading volumes daily.

STR | NurPhoto via Getty Images

Binance’s move to participate in Elon Musk’s $44 billion takeover of Twitter could boost hopes among digital currency evangelists for the development of a more “decentralized” social media platform that is compatible with cryptocurrencies.

Binance plans to invest $500 million in equity as part of a $7 billion funding pledge to back the Tesla CEO’s bid to buy Twitter. Other investors involved include Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison and venture capital firm Sequoia.

Binance’s participation is curious, especially because of the activity it operates. The company is the largest crypto exchange in the world, handling more than $70 billion in cash and derivatives trading volumes daily, according to data from CoinGecko.

Changpeng Zhao, billionaire CEO and founder of Binance, is a strong supporter of the crypto worldview of a new kind of internet, known as “Web3”. It’s a loosely defined term, but Web3 as a concept loosely refers to new web experiences built around blockchain, the technology that underpins many cryptocurrencies.

Such services could embed digital tokens such as NFTs – the cryptographic equivalent of collectibles such as rare works of art or trading cards – into things like social media, web browsers or mobile devices. video games.

“I’m definitely the future,” Zhao told CNBC in an interview last month. “But exactly how will that play out; what exactly does Web3 look like? We’ll have to wait and see.”

Binance’s stake in Twitter could be an opportunity for Zhao to realize Web3’s decentralized ideals. Musk, a self-proclaimed “free speech absolutist”, has frequently lamented what he sees as Twitter’s censorship of conservative voices on the platform.

Bitcoin and other digital currencies are not controlled by any single entity, a setup that proponents say makes them “censorship-resistant”.

Before stepping down as CEO, Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey helped set up an initiative to create decentralized social media protocols. Called Bluesky, the project was formed in part to solve the problem of a handful of powerful tech companies controlling the most popular online services.

Although backed by Twitter, Bluesky claims it is an “independent company”. Dorsey, who has publicly backed Musk’s bid and is a strong bitcoin supporter, remains on Bluesky’s board.

“In principle, I don’t think anyone should own or run Twitter,” Dorsey said in a recent tweet. “He wants to be a public good at the protocol level, not a business.”

Although backed by Twitter, Bluesky is an “independent company” and its funding by the tech giant is “unconditional but one: that Bluesky must research and develop technologies that enable open, decentralized public conversation.” , said the project.

While it’s still unclear exactly what Musk has planned for Twitter, he has already hinted at plans to make the site more crypto-friendly, including accepting the meme-inspired token dogecoin as a form of payment. .

“I think that bodes very well for how Twitter, as a private organization, could be even more nimble and nimble in terms of serving these growing ecosystems, whether it’s crypto or other new technologies,” Michael Sonnenshein, CEO of crypto asset manager Grayscale, told CNBC in a recent interview.

But Musk’s pledge to relax policies on what Twitter users can post has fueled fears he could open up the platform to potentially toxic or illegal content. For his part, Musk says he only wants to allow speech “that is within the law.”

“I am against censorship that goes far beyond the law,” he said in a tweet last week.

Ryan Wyatt, head of the gaming and metaverse division at blockchain group Polygon, said it’s “much easier said than done” to balance free speech with maintaining a safe environment online. .

“It’s very easy to point fingers and say, this shouldn’t be on, this shouldn’t be on,” Wyatt, who was formerly head of gaming at YouTube, told CNBC. “But if I asked 100 different people, you would get 100 different answers.”

“How you make these decisions in a way that might go against your personal values ​​but also respects free speech – these are very difficult and complicated conversations to have and I don’t envy the man the richest in the world trying to kidnap him.”

Binance’s support for Elon Musk’s Twitter offering bolsters “Web3” vision

Source link Binance’s support for Elon Musk’s Twitter offering bolsters “Web3” vision

Back to top button