The wealthiest business people in cryptocurrency are openly supporting the controversial billionaire at a time when many people are criticizing Musk and his takeover of Twitter. They have both financial and ideological interests.
For crypto billionaires, it’s been a challenging year as their net worths fell amid the spring and summer sell-down. But now that Elon Musk has taken over Twitter, they are giggling again.
Crypto’s libertarian-leaning leaders see a kinship in Musk and his pledges to bring “free expression” to Twitter. And some see glimmering promise in Musk’s on-again, off-again excitement for cryptocurrencies (particularly his fondness of joke currency dogecoin) that Twitter will develop crypto payments tools or include other ‘Web3’ components.
The venture entrepreneur and bitcoin investor Tim Draper emailed Forbes, “I think Elon is excellent, and we are so lucky to have him in our world. (As bitcoin prices declined earlier this year, Draper dropped out of the billionaire club.) “I think he wants to rescue the earth with Tesla, make sure we can leave it with SpaceX, and now allow everyone to express themselves freely with Twitter, and he does it all commercially so that he can do it successfully. I want he could live forever.
Changpeng Zhao, the founder, and CEO of Binance, is one of Musk’s other significant supporters. This month, the cryptocurrency exchange contributed $500 million to Musk’s effort to take Twitter private at a ridiculously high $44 billion valuation (which Musk agreed to, partly because he saw an opportunity to make a weed joke).
As he stated earlier this week, “Twitter is a global free speech tool [and] very vital.” “Elon Musk is a powerful entrepreneur, and we want to assist strong entrepreneurs,”
CZ, whose estimated net worth at $17.4 billion according to Forbes, has more arguments in favor of Musk’s acquisition of Twitter. CZ told CNBC, “We want to ensure that crypto has a seat at the table for free speech. “When Twitter is ready, we want to help them put it into Web3.”
Owen Lau, an equity analyst at Oppenheimer & Co., claims that Binance’s investment offers CZ an advantage over Twitter in influencing the latter’s upcoming ventures into cryptocurrencies. Lau thinks that “CZ has an advantage here.” “Who else can write a cheque for $500 million?”
CZ did not elaborate on the specifics of how Binance intends to collaborate with Twitter, which is under investigation by many U.S. agencies on claims that it enabled money laundering and other financial crimes. We were unable to reach CZ or Binance for comment.
Another supporter of Musk’s idea is the multibillionaire co-founder and CEO of Coinbase, Brian Armstrong. When they first revealed the purchase in April, Armstrong tweeted, “Elon buying Twitter is a tremendous win for free expression, and possibly impacts the course of the globe more than most people think.” Twitter was moving in a dangerous direction with censorship since it is upstream of media and culture in many ways, continued Armstrong (who famously banned political discussion at his company in 2020).
Armstrong stated plainly that he would be happy to provide severance compensation to those uneasy about the new corporate policy of “political neutrality” in the workplace. “Life is too short to work at a company that you aren’t excited about,” the CEO penned a message to staff. For those who opt out, hopefully, this package helps to create a win-win situation.
“Me-first capitalists who think you can separate society from business are going to be the first individuals lined up against the wall and slaughtered in the revolution,” former CEO of Twitter Dick Costolo tweeted in response to the issue. I’ll be happy to add comments to the video.
His position conflicts with the culture of many tech organizations. Most Silicon Valley tech companies have a left-leaning slant. These businesses are receptive to letting and pushing their staff members participate in social, racial, and political concerns.
Armstrong doesn’t seem to have changed his views recently. When contacted for an update on Armstrong’s viewpoint, a Coinbase representative replied to Forbes, “Nothing to add beyond Brian’s tweets.” Armstrong has not commented since Musk acquired control of Twitter.
Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, two billionaires in bitcoin, have gained more confidence. Cameron criticized the businesses that have already stopped spending money on Twitter advertising due to Musk’s takeover and said that Musk “plans to remedy” the problems with the network, such as its “politically-motivated censoring.” He also said that the former method of obtaining a blue check was by “drinking pals with someone who went on to work at Twitter and who you could rely on for a favor,” in response to individuals who were upset about Musk’s intentions to charge $8 per month for a blue check.
Musk’s blue check charge has also received support from Michael Saylor, a bitcoin investor and the creator of MicroStrategy. This software company also has 130,000 bitcoins listed on its balance sheet. Saylor tweeted, “If you don’t pay for the product, you are the product.” Saylor posted a picture of Musk releasing the blue Twitter bird from a cage, and it has been shared over 7,000 times since it was published.
Sam Bankman-Fried, the creator of FTX (a competitor of Binance), is less specific that Musk will turn Twitter into a shelter for cryptocurrencies. Bankman-Fried declined the chance to invest in Twitter for that exact reason; he revealed last week to an audience of attendees at the Forbes Iconoclast Summit conference.
Bankman-Fried said: “Is it the case that our ideals here are complementary and that there’s something I can offer to it? Ultimately, we checked if he wanted a crypto partner to assist with Web3 payments. That didn’t seem to be the case to me.
Bankman-Fried maintains that he is nonetheless “extremely enthusiastic” about Musk’s acquisition. The founder of FTX remarked, “There’s a lot of opportunity in what he’s doing. I’m thrilled about it and trust him to follow his plan.