Thiel-Backed Block.one Injects Billions in Crypto Exchange

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Block.one, a blockchain software company whose long-time backers include billionaires Peter Thiel, Alan Howard and Louis Bacon, is launching a crypto exchange that seeks to combine attributes of traditional bourses with the benefits of decentralized finance.

Bullish, as the exchange will be known, is being capitalized by Block.one with about $10 billion in digital assets and cash. That seeding for Bullish Global includes 164,000 Bitcoins valued at around $9.7 billion, $100 million in cash and 20 million EOS tokens, which power Block.one transactions. A funding round raised another $300 million, Block.one said in a statement Tuesday.

The exchange is seeking to leverage existing blockchain technology with the decentralized architecture of DeFi that has grown in popularity for maximizing yield-generating strategies. The announcement follows Coinbase Global Inc.’s debut last month on the Nasdaq, which initially valued the largest U.S. crypto exchange at more than $100 billion.

The price of EOS surged almost 50% in the wake of the announcement to around $12.72, according to CoinMarketCap.com data.

Developer Interest

It also appears to be a significant step to revitalize Block.one’s EOSIO technology, which has faced headwinds since it ran the world’s biggest ICO that netted $4 billion in 2018. While some of the money has been used to build out the EOSblockchain -- much of it was simply invested in assets such as government bonds.

Additionally, EOS has recently seen declining developer interest -- a yardstick for a project’s promise and health -- according to a report from Electric Capital, a venture firm that invests in crypto startups.

Other prominent investors participating in the funding round include Hong Kong tycoon Richard Li, German entrepreneur and investor Christian Angermayer, Michael Novogratz’s Galaxy Digital, and Nomura Holdings.

Bullish will offer institutional and retail investors market making, lending and portfolio management services without use of intermediaries like banks.

“The exchange is deemed to offer institutions and individuals better and safer access to the latest cryptocurrency investment strategies,” Block.one Chief Executive Officer Brendan Blumer said.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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