Market chatter over the past few days is about Tesla, Inc. TSLA CEO Elon Musk’s $54.20 per share offer to take Twitter, Inc. TWRT private. Several high-profile investors and corporate CEOs have had thoughts on the development, and the latest to join the discussion is Ethereum ETH/USD founder Vitalik Buterin.
Don’t Oppose, But… Buterin said he doesn’t oppose Musk taking over the reins of Twitter, especially considering the platform’s status quo position. The Ethereum founder quoted a tweet from Robin Hanson, associate professor of economics at the George Mason University, to explain his views.
Hanson made a point that hostile takeovers should be allowed, as he sees it as a “powerful under used” way to discipline management. Buterin differed with him in opposing the more generalized enthusiasm for wealthy people/organizations going about a hostile takeover of media firms. “That could easily go *very* wrong,” he said.
Buterin explained his stance by giving a hypothetical example of an ethically-challenged foreign government doing it.
Don’t oppose Elon running twitter (at least compared to status quo), but I do disagree with the more generalized enthusiasm for wealthy people/orgs hostile-takeovering social media firms. That could easily go *very* wrong (eg. imagine an ethically-challenged foreign gov doing it) https://t.co/LDqjXh3xCK
— vitalik.eth (@VitalikButerin) April 15, 2022
Buterin said he considers Twitter similar to a public utility, and there are many good reasons as to why the public should not be represented by any specific government.
Referring to criticism about Saudi Arabia’s Prince Alwaleed bin Talal’s stake in Twitter, Buterin said the former holds an only 5% stake and that his control is super-linear in ownership stake. “His level of ability to control policy is very low now, and would increase by *far* more than 10x if his ownership increased to 50%,” Buterin said.
Twitter’s co-founder Jack Dorsey, who gave up his CEO role at Twitter late last year, seem to concur with Buterin. He simply tweeted “same.”
Binance’s CEO Has Different Opinion: Cryptocurrency exchange Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao, often referred to as CZ in short, said by adopting the poison pill, Twitter’s board seems to be protecting its power/control over the interests of investors. “Anyway, I am sure there is more than what’s on the surface,” he added.