SBF Tried to Join Elon Musk’s Twitter Deal in March
- Sam Bankman-Fried believes an integration between Twitter and blockchain could aid free speech.
- While SBF showed interest in the deal, Musk was less enthusiastic, citing different views on blockchain as a concern.
- The Tesla boss has been involved in a heated court battle with Twitter after pulling out of the deal.
Elon Musk’s bid to purchase social media company Twitter was a surprise to many, but Musk was not the only billionaire interested in the lucrative company. According to a report, FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried also had his eyes on the deal.
A Sam Bankman-Fried advisor allegedly informed Elon Musk that the crypto tycoon was considering purchasing Twitter and integrating blockchain technology into the social media platform. Several of Musk’s private texts have been made public since his ongoing court battle with Twitter after he pulled out of the deal. One of the recently publicized texts showed the exchange detailing Bankman-fried’s interest.
Bankman-Fried’s adviser, Will MacAskill, mentioned the possibility of a joint effort in the text to Musk. He wrote,
I’m not sure if this is what’s on your mind, but my collaborator Sam Bankman-Fried has for a while been potentially interested in purchasing it and then making it better for the world. If you want to talk with him about a possible joint effort in that direction.
Musk responded by asking if Bankman-Fried had the financial power for the deal, to which MacAskill replied that SBF was worth $24 billion and prepared to spend $8 to $15 billion on the acquisition. Bankman-Fried and Musk communicated via many messages in April. The former shared a post about the potential integration of Twitter and blockchain.
The deal appeared to have appealed to other players in the field, including Michael Kives, the founder and CEO of K5 Global. Michael reportedly wrote to Elon Musk in April, noting that It could be cool to do this with Sam Bankman-Fried.”
In April, MacAskill reportedly spoke with Morgan Stanley’s Michael Grimes, head of global technology investment banking, about the deal. Grimes mentioned to Musk that the FTX boss was a genius and could contribute $5 billion to complete the transaction. Musk was, however, not enthusiastic about the deal. The Tesla boss said he didn’t want to “have a laborious blockchain debate” with SBF.
Expressing his lack of interest in the deal, Musk told Grimes,
Blockchain Twitter isn’t possible, as the bandwidth and latency requirements cannot be supported by a peer-to-peer network, unless those ‘peers’ are absolutely gigantic, thus defeating the purpose of a decentralized network.
Bankman-Fried has not hidden his desire to use technology to affect human communications and ensure free speech. The self-described “effective altruist” discussed using blockchain to establish a free-speech model on Twitter in an interview with Bloomberg in April.
Bankman-Fried was also listed as one of the wealthiest people under 30 in history by Forbes last year. The businessman, who is now 30 years old, has been in a purchasing frenzy in the cryptocurrency industry and recently closed a deal with the insolvent lender Voyager.