Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, plans to take a US$200 million stake in Forbes through a private placement, making it one of the two largest shareholders of the 104-year-old business magazine.

Fast facts

  • The investment comes as Forbes seeks to go public on the New York Stock Exchange via a deal with a special purpose acquisition company, which is expected to close by the first quarter of this year, Forbes said Thursday in a statement.
  • Two Binance executives will join Forbes’ board of directors.
  • “As Web 3 and blockchain technologies move forward and the crypto market comes of age we know that media is an essential element to build widespread consumer understanding and education,” said Changpeng Zhao, founder and CEO of Binance.
  • Some industry watchers fear the centralized exchange’s stake in Forbes would allow Binance to direct narratives, but Zhao said Forbes’ editorial independence will remain “sacrosanct.”
  • Binance sued Forbes in 2020 for defamation over an article published by the news outlet, but later dropped the case.