Binance is considering buying banks to bridge the gap between the worlds of traditional finance and cryptocurrency, founder and CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ) said in an interview with Bloomberg.
The billionaire did not disclose specific targets, saying he was open to minority investments or full takeovers. Zhao also pointed out that investment banking is a reasonable strategy for Binance because when partnering with banks, Binance usually attracts many new users, which will also boost the bank’s valuation.
“What we have found is when banks work with us, we drive so many users to them, so the bank’s valuation goes up, like why don’t we just invest in them as well, so that we capture some of the equity upside, “he said.
CZ said in an interview at the Web Summit in Lisbon: “There are people who hold certain types of local licenses, traditional banking, payment-service providers, even banks. We’re looking at those things.”
Zhao has said in the past that Binance has more than $1 billion to spend on acquisitions, with its acquisition strategy focused on areas such as DeFi and NFTs.
He stressed that traditional financial institutions are now more closely linked to the cryptocurrency industry as a whole. He said that despite the cold winter in the cryptocurrency market due to a number of factors, such as interest rate hikes, the correlation between digital assets and traditional finance -“TradFi” is still deepening. Well-known traditional financial services companies include Goldman Sachs Group Inc., BlackRock Inc, etc.
In June, U.S. multinational investment bank Goldman Sachs Group Inc showed interest in acquiring troubled cryptocurrency lender Celsius Network, hoping to buy the company at a steep discount, according to two people familiar with the matter.
In September, BlackRock, a New York-based US multinational investment company, has expanded its crypto service offerings by launching a new exchange-traded fund (ETF) that provides exposure to blockchain and crypto companies for its European customers.
Binance recently confirmed that the crypto exchange has invested in Musk’s Twitter deal. In a statement, Binance quoted its co-founder, billionaire Changpeng Zhao (CZ), as saying that Binance had committed to spending $500 for Musk to acquire Twitter as part of its strategy to bring social media and news sites into the web3 world.
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