Bullish, a crypto exchange led by former New York Stock Exchange President Tom Farley, has announced the acquisition of CoinDesk, a crypto-focused media company.
CoinDesk Purchase Will Boost Bullish’ Crypto Media Presence
The Wall Street Journal reports that this all-cash deal marks a new era for CoinDesk, previously under Digital Currency Group, since its acquisition in 2016 for $500,000.
CoinDesk is one of the most influential crypto news media outlets. In 2022, the website broke the news of the internal finance of crypto news FTX.
In the coming weeks after the report, the crypto exchange faced a trust crisis and a bank run as users rushed to cash out their funds. The events around FTX, its founder Sam Bankman Fried, and the multibillion-dollar lawsuit against him began at the news media portal.
This acquisition comes as Bullish aims to strengthen its foothold in the nascent industry. Tom Farley, the CEO of Bullish, who served as the NYSE president from 2014 to 2018, emphasizes the potential rebound of the digital assets industry and the “solid business foundations” of CoinDesk’s products and services, the WSJ reported.
CoinDesk’s New Chapter Under Bullish: Independence And Expansion Plans
Under the new ownership, CoinDesk will continue to operate independently within Bullish, retaining its current management team, including CEO Kevin Worth. CoinDesk will establish an editorial committee to maintain journalistic independence, chaired by Matt Murray, the former editor-in-chief of The Wall Street Journal.
Bullish, launched in November 2021 and backed by investors like Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund and Louis Bacon, scrapped a $9 billion public merger last year. Now, it’s positioning itself in the bidding war for the remnants of the collapsed crypto exchange FTX, hinting at ambitious expansion plans.
CoinDesk, with its diversified business lines in media, events, and indexes, reported $50 million in revenue last year. Farley’s vision for CoinDesk includes leveraging Bullish’s Asian connections to expand the conference business into new markets like Hong Kong and Singapore.
According to the WSJ, this move signifies Bullish’s commitment to investing heavily in CoinDesk’s growth, capitalizing on the anticipated upswing in the crypto sector. Farley stated:
We believe that there is a rebound of the digital assets industry that has already begun. Some of CoinDesk’s products and services are just darn good businesses that we want to own in a crypto bull run.
This acquisition follows a tumultuous period for CoinDesk’s parent company, Digital Currency Group (DCG), which faced financial difficulties after FTX’s collapse, leading to the bankruptcy of its lending subsidiary Genesis Global Capital and the closure of other units.
The deal represents a strategic shift for CoinDesk, which had explored sale options with Lazard earlier this year and underwent a 16% staff reduction in August. This new chapter under Bullish’s wing could mark a significant turn in CoinDesk’s journey, redefining its role in the ever-evolving crypto media landscape.
Cover image from Unsplash, chart from Tradingview