Bullish Crypto Exchange Acquires CoinDesk in All-Cash Deal

November 22, 2023

By Anjali Kochhar

In a strategic move within the ever-evolving cryptocurrency landscape, Bullish, the crypto exchange led by former New York Stock Exchange president Tom Farley, has successfully acquired CoinDesk. The undisclosed all-cash deal comes in the wake of financial turbulence stemming from the collapse of FTX, impacting CoinDesk’s parent company, Digital Currency Group (DCG).

Despite the upheaval, CoinDesk’s existing management team remains untouched by the acquisition. The crypto news outlet is poised to operate “as an independent subsidiary within Bullish,” maintaining its editorial integrity. To further solidify its editorial autonomy, CoinDesk will establish an editorial committee, spearheaded by former Wall Street Journal editor-in-chief Matt Murray.

CoinDesk, known for its investigative reporting, first brought attention to the financial issues plaguing FTX’s parent company last November. The fallout, however, reverberated through DCG, which had acquired CoinDesk in 2016 for $500,000. Genesis, DCG’s crypto lender subsidiary, faced financial setbacks due to its ties with FTX, culminating in legal action as Genesis sued DCG in September, seeking to recover $620 million in unpaid loans. Both DCG and Genesis are also entangled in a lawsuit filed by New York Attorney General Letitia James, alleging investor deception and contributing to losses exceeding $1 billion.

Barry Silbert, founder of DCG, expressed pride in CoinDesk’s trajectory, deeming it one of the company’s “best investments of all time.” Silbert acknowledged the growth and transformation of CoinDesk into an award-winning media and events company over the past seven years.

While CoinDesk reported on the acquisition, the news outlet has yet to officially confirm the transaction. Speculations about a potential sale began circulating in January, and CoinDesk implemented workforce reductions, affecting approximately 16 percent of its employees in August.

In a statement, Tom Farley, the head of Bullish, emphasised the significance of CoinDesk’s role in shaping the global crypto and blockchain ecosystem. Farley announced Bullish’s immediate injection of capital into CoinDesk’s growth initiatives, which will fuel the launch of new services, events, and products.

Bullish’s ambitions extend beyond the acquisition of CoinDesk; the crypto exchange is reportedly in contention to acquire the remaining assets of FTX. This move positions Bullish to potentially revitalise the fallen exchange, marking another strategic maneuver in the competitive cryptocurrency market.

As Bullish takes the reins, the crypto community watches with anticipation, anticipating the impact of this acquisition on both CoinDesk and the broader crypto landscape.

About the author

Anjali Kochhar covers cryptocurrency stories in India as well as globally. Having been in the field of media and journalism for over three years now, she has developed a sharp news sense and works hard to present information that goes beyond the obvious. She is an avid reader and loves writing on a wide range of subjects.

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