Binance is looking to diversify its business interests by acquiring companies outside the scope of cryptocurrency, according to a report from the Financial Times.
“We want to identify and invest in one or two targets in every economic sector and try to bring them into crypto,” said Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao, affectionately known to his 5.3 million Twitter followers as CZ
Already holding the title of the world’s largest crypto exchange, Binance is aiming to bring in companies from traditional markets in an attempt to further increase broad-scale crypto adoption and diversify its own business.
In the interview, Zhao went on to say that nudging traditional companies to embrace crypto will put pressure on the slow-movers and increase overall market competition.
This announcement comes not long after Binance’s monumental $200 million investment in publisher Forbes in early Feb, solidifying Binance as one of the two largest owners of the media company.
#Binance is taking a $200 million stake in @Forbes.— Binance (@binance) February 10, 2022
“This is the first step into a marketplace that has really high potential when it comes to adoption of Web 3.0 based tools”https://t.co/mDIRMHC4dT
These moves continue to demonstrate the burgeoning real-world power of the cryptocurrency industry more broadly, which has seen Binance grow to an estimated valuation of approximately $300 billion and established Changpeng Zhao as the 11th wealthiest man in the world.
While crypto exchanges have previously plastered their logos on stadiums and stolen the show at the Super Bowl, acquiring such a significant stake in a legacy media company like Forbes positions Binance as a serious player in acquisitions and investments.
Binance has dabbled before in buying assets and companies that sit outside of its immediate core business, having acquired crypto data website CoinMarketCap in April 2020 and purchasing a majority stake in the card-payment services giant Swipe in late Dec. 2021.
In terms of diversifying revenue, scooping up traditional businesses outside of digital assets seems to be a wise move, 90% of which is currently sourced from trading fees on its exchange, according to CZ.
Cointelegraph contacted Binance for further comments, but it had not responded in the time for publication.
The news about Binance’s ambitions beyond cryptocurrency comes as the exchange continues to fall under increasing scrutiny from regulators around the world.
On Monday, the United Kingdom Financial Conduct Authority issued a shot across the bows about a strategic partnership between Binance's in-house card payment services Bifinity and investment firm Eqonex. A $36 million convertible loan was provided to expand the companies‘ products including the currently FCA-registered Digivault.
Related: Binance back in Malaysia via a strategic stake in regulated digital exchange
As a result of the transaction, the FCA said that “individuals and entities that are part of the Binance Group may have become beneficial owners of Digivault for the purposes of the Money Laundering Regulations,” suggesting potential regulatory problems for Digivault.
We are aware of recent statements made by Eqonex Limited and the Binance Group confirming that an entity called Bifinity will advance a US$36 million convertible loan to EQONEX. https://t.co/EV7keSHRpa— Financial Conduct Authority (@TheFCA) March 7, 2022
Binance is also reportedly in talks to obtain a license to operate in Dubai, according to Bloomberg. This comes as the United Arab Emirates continues its push to become an oasis for digital assets in the Middle East.