The boss of cryptocurrency exchange Binance told AFP on Thursday that he had pledged $500 million to fund Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter to support free speech.
Changpeng Zhao, who goes by CZ, said he used Twitter more than he used his own trading platform and was keen to support it.
“Twitter is probably the most important free speech platform in the world,” he told AFP at the VivaTech trade show in Paris.
In April, Tesla boss Musk formulated a plan to buy Twitter for $44 billion, saying he wanted to promote free speech on the platform.
In particular, he said he was ready to reinstate former US president Donald Trump, who was expelled from the network for inciting his supporters before the Capitol riots in Washington on January 6 last year.
At the beginning of May, Musk said he had raised more than $7 billion to finance the deal from investors including Oracle founder Larry Ellison, Sequoia Capital and Binance.
But Musk has since cast doubt on his ambitions, threatening to withdraw his offer if he does not get reliable data on the number of fake accounts in circulation on Twitter.
Zhao, who has 6.4 million followers on Twitter, said he would stand behind Musk’s decision, whichever way he goes.
“He’s taking the lead, we’re following,” he said.
“If Elon commits to it, we’re committed. If Elon calls it off, then most likely we’re off.”
Musk is due to meet Twitter employees on Thursday for a question and answer session, the first since his takeover bid.
Sometimes described as the “Elon Musk of cryptocurrencies”, Zhao said the comparison was too flattering.
“Elon is a much stronger entrepreneur. Also, he is a genius,” said the Binance boss, who said he exchanged with the Tesla boss via the Signal app but has not yet met him in person.