Binance CEO Zhao Taking Different Acquisition Tack Than FTX's Bankman-Fried

While FTX's Sam Bankman-Fried has been pouring money into distressed assets, saying he has at least $1 billion to spend on such moves, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao's acquisition strategy has focused on expanding into publishing, decentralized finance (DeFi), and non-fungible token (NFT) projects.

"We did look at a lot of lenders in recent months, because that’s where all the issues are," Zhao told Bloomberg in an interview. "Many of them, they just take a user’s money and give it to somebody else. There’s not a lot of intrinsic value. In that case, what’s to acquire? We want to see real products that people use."

Binance so far this year has committed $325 million to 67 projects, according to the story. A $200 million investment into Forbes and $500 million of financing towards Elon Musk's Twitter takeover remain on the table – those deals could take the spend to more than $1 billion for 2022. By comparison, the company invested $140 million across 73 projects in 2021.

Zhao added that Binance may have interest in taking stakes in traditional e-commerce and gaming companies in the future.

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