To top off the sweeping, rapid-fire changes being made to Twitter, the world’s largest crypto exchange Binance recently announced an investment of US$500 million into the social media platform with Binance’s CEO Changpeng Zhao publicly throwing his weight behind eccentric billionaire Elon Musk.
Now, a series of recent moves from Zhao point to further collaboration between the gargantuan crypto exchange and Twitter. Speaking to attendees of Web Summit Lisbon — an annual tech convention in Portugal that attracts thousands of technology enthusiasts — Zhao seems to be looking at finding more ways to integrate the two companies, namely bringing cryptocurrencies to the platform.
Despite there being a “rocky” start to the takeover, Zhao said Binance will play a role in “bringing social media and Web3 together to broaden the use and adoption of crypto and blockchain technology.”
Zhao added that Binance’s in-house payments system is primed and ready for use by crypto-ready Twitter users: “We already have a solution for this: Binance Pay.” Zhao then said that Binance Pay service allows for users to pay other in “whatever coin, cryptocurrency or fiat currency they choose,” with a zero-fees charged on top.
Speaking to the exchange’s recent financial aid it provided to Musk, Zhao said that Binance “wants to be supportive of anything to do with crypto or Web3,” and that the investment in Twitter provides crypto with a “seat at the table” moving forward.
“We have all the technologies, we have the know-how, we have the products, so we’re ready to help,” Zhao added.
Freedom of Speech
The CEO added that the half-billion-dollar investment was also driven by a desire to protect freedom of speech. “We want to be extremely supportive of free speech. As a business, we are helping to increase the freedom of money, and free speech comes before freedom of money, so we need to help maintain free speech,” Zhao said.
When asked what he sees Musk actually rolling out in the coming months, Zhao believes that many of Musk’s recent ideations are significant steps in the right direction.
“[Elon] did mention Dogecoin, charging for tweets, charging for comments, charging for the blue tick,” Zhao said. “So, I think all of those things are coming.”
While Zhao’s comments already point to his willingness at getting involved with the social media platform, what makes all of this extra interesting is that last night, Binance released an announcement introducing a new financial product dubbed the ‘Bluebird Index’.
What is the Binance Bluebird Index?
The Bluebird Index tracks the performance of a portfolio of cryptocurrency assets including Binance Coin (BNB), Dogecoin (DOGE) and Metamask’s native token MASK. Seeing as Dogecoin is Elon Musk’s favourite cryptocurrency — which he’s already made a series of semi-cryptic tweets about in his new role as CEO — it seems increasingly plausible that a structural partnership between the two companies is very much on the cards.
According to Binance, the portfolio will be made up of 51% BNB, 41% DOGE and 6% MASK.
So what does all of this mean?
It’s still far from a guarantee, but the fact that Binance has released a financial product with a namesake that’s a direct reference to Twitter, composed of DOGE and MASK, means that there’s a significant possibility for a much deeper integration of crypto in the Twitter platform moving forward.
Metamask is the most widely used cryptocurrency wallet that allows users to buy, sell and trade crypto assets from within their web browser. The inclusion of MASK in this portfolio hints to the potential addition of a metamask extension to Twitter, allowing users to send, receive and show off their assets all within the Twitter platform.
The fact that DOGE takes up a touch over 40% of the portfolio nods to Dogecoin seeing some added utility in the future, most likely in a capacity for handling payments or even potentially being used as the native currency.
Notably, Changpeng Zhao has been making moves to extend the influence of Binance beyond facilitating trading in crypto, with Binance forging a strong media-focused strategy for the expansion of its business. In February of last year the exchange made a significant US$200 million investment in the global media company Forbes. In March, the exchange also acquired the world-leading crypto education and data website CoinMarketCap for an undisclosed price.
Changpeng Zhao himself also commands a strong presence on social media, flexing a following of 7.2 million users on Twitter.