Analysts question if the deal is a potential conflict of interest considering crypto’s vulnerability to media hype
Top cryptocurrency exchange Binance announced that it will be taking a $200 million stake in global media company Forbes, BBC reported last week. The deal is expected to make Forbes a leading source for information on digital assets and diversify it’s the scope of its technology section.
In a statement released when the deal was announced, Binance founder Changpeng 'CZ' Zhao stated that media was an essential element in building consumer understanding and educating the masses on the benefits of blockchain technology and the potential of the crypto market.
While the deal with the 105-year-old legacy media brand marks a new high for Binance, it has led to questions being raised on Binance’s intentions. Binance sued Forbes for defamation last year before eventually dropping the case.
Further, analysts have pointed out that crypto assets are vulnerable to media hype and manipulation by celebrities. This has led to concerns on whether the investment is a potential conflict of interest for Binance.
CZ took to Twitter to quash these claims and clarified that the editorial independence of Forbes would remain sacrosanct. The Chinese Canadian billionaire further stated that Binance’s focus will be to help Forbes build Web3 infrastructure in the coming years.
“…Like many fast-growing, innovative companies, Binance is used to media scrutiny. That’s a necessary reality when you are the leader of a disruptive industry,” he added.
In an interview with CNBC, CZ further stated that Binance is also eyeing investments in other traditional companies in order to help such businesses adopt blockchain to implement transparency via a system that records transactions on a decentralised ledger.
Responding to the allegations, Forbes spokesperson Bill Hankes said that Binance’s role will be limited to offering to provide technical advice and helping the business publication maximize its brand:
"Forbes has been fiercely independent for more than a century, regardless of our ownership, and that is not changing. The integrity of our trusted journalism is our most important brand asset."