Crypto exchange puts its virtual wealth into real-world things – RT Business News

Binance’s investment in Forbes raises questions about potential conflicts of interest

The world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, Binance, will make a $200 million strategic investment in 104-year-old American corporate media brand Forbes, CNBC reported Thursday. Binance founder Changpeng ‘CZ’ Zhao told the broadcaster that he views the media as “an essential element in broadening consumer understanding and education” of the crypto market and emerging blockchain technologies.

The Chinese-Canadian billionaire, whose net worth is estimated at nearly $100 billion, added that his company is also considering investments in other traditional businesses as it seeks to advance blockchain adoption.

Forbes said the deal would help make it a leader in providing insight into digital assets such as Bitcoin. According to CNBC sources, the funds will help Forbes execute its plan to merge with a publicly traded special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC.

Binance will replace half of the $400 million in institutional investor commitments announced by Forbes in August, unnamed sources said. This would make Binance one of the two main owners of Forbes, which will be listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol FRBS, they added.

News of the investment raised questions about potential conflicts of interest. In 2020, Binance sued Forbes for defamation over an article the magazine published regarding the exchange’s corporate structure. The crypto exchange then dropped the case.

Forbes said the deal would not change its coverage areas, but would hopefully allow its existing digital asset team and “some other rhythms” to grow over time. Company spokesman Bill Hankes told the BBC, “Forbes has been fiercely independent for over a century, regardless of who owns us, and that’s not changing,” to add: “The integrity of our trusted journalism is our most important brand asset.”

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