- Binance CEO said they wouldn’t add CoinDesk to their media properties.
- CoinDesk’s struggling owner is looking to find a buyer fast.
- Binance has major holdings in digital and traditional media.
Crypto giant Binance slackened its grasp on crypto media, at least for now. Talks to acquire crypto news site CoinDesk fell apart, according to reports confirmed by Binance CEO.
On Tuesday, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ) clarified reports about Binance Capital Management’s talks with CoinDesk. According to CZ, Binance walked away from the deal, as CoinDesk was not fit for the exchange’s geographic coverage.
CoinDesk CEO Kevin Worth confirmed in January that the outlet was for sale. Its owner, Digital Currency Group (DCG), which owned bankrupt lenders Genesis, is looking to raise capital quickly.
Early estimates suggested that the news site was worth over $300 million. However, the actual acquisition price would be significantly lower, closer to $75 million, according to sources.
Either price would net a good return on investment to DCG, which acquired the news site in 2016 for $500,000. Since then, CoinDesk has been on the rise. The news site generated $50 million in revenue in 2022 from online ads.
The potential acquisition came from Binance Capital Management (BCM), the investment arm of Binance. BCM looked to invest in CoinDesk through its property CoinMarketCap, one of the largest websites for tracking crypto prices.
Does Binance Own CoinMarketCap?
The deal would not mean that Binance would control CoinDesk directly. Instead, CoinDesk would be a part of CoinMarketCap, a property of Binance Capital Mgmt.
Binance.com does not own CoinMarketCap directly. According to a disclosure on its website, three is “no ownership relationship” between CoinMarketCap and Binance.com. However, the disclosure also says that BCM acquired CoinMarketCap in 2020.
Besides CoinMarketCap, Binance also owns DappRadar, a Chinese-based DeFi analytics platform.
In Feb 2022, Binance announced a $200 million investment in Forbes Magazine. At the time, Forbes planned to go public via a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC). The deal fell through after Forbes decided not to go public after a series of poor-performing SPAC mergers.
On the Flipside
- Coindesk’s parent DCG suffered from the site’s reporting on FTX. Following a CoinDesk report on the exchange, Binance withdrew funds, leading to FTX’s collapse. The FTX collapse ultimately led to the collapse of DCG property Genesis.
- Earlier reports suggested that DCG had buyers offering north of $200 million for CoinDesk.
Why You Should Care
When major industry players own news sites, there’s always a potential for conflicts of interest.
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