One might assume that a firm with a name like "Bullish" would garner a lot of attention in announcing its intention to go public, especially given that the exchange is backed by blockchain software company Block.one. Until today however, it seems to have gone mostly unnoticed by participants in the crypto space.
In a Friday announcement, Bullish said it would be going public on the New York Stock Exchange via a special-purpose acquisition company, or SPAC. The tech firm, which described itself as “focused on developing financial services for the digital assets sector,” will merge with Far Peak Acquisition, whose CEO is Tom Farley, former president of the New York Stock Exchange. Farley will become the new Bullish CEO and Block.one CEO Brendan Blumer will be chairman of the crypto exchange. The deal is expected to close sometime this year.
The announced SPAC plans come less than two months after the launch of Bullish capitalizing with roughly $10 billion. Block.one provided 164,000 Bitcoin (BTC) — roughly $9.7 billion at the time — $100 million in cash, and 20 million EOS tokens, while an additional funding round raised $300 million.
However, it is unclear what exactly Bullish is offering in terms of products or services prior to going public, other than seemingly having billions of dollars to move around. The firm’s investor website includes a 19-minute video along with two notices of the initial capitalization and public offering, while the main website offers no information other than “go boldly, go Bullish.” The video includes Bullish claiming that it controls a "hybrid style order book" that combines liquidity pool capability from the DeFi space with a central limit order book.
Some crypto holders responded to the public offering on social media, with user Crypto Krillin likening the SPAC announcement to a "news scam pump.” Others have similarly accused Block.One of doing a cash grab.
This is the most absurd crypto arc rn.— Hsaka (@HsakaTrades) July 9, 2021
"Bullish Global" going public at a $9b valuation.
Blockone injecting their 164k BTC holdings.
Ex NYSE president will be CEO.$EOShttps://t.co/qx5v93J0pD pic.twitter.com/YqRhnJWSHf
Bullish’s $9 billion valuation is around one quarter of crypto exchange Coinbase’s $45 billion valuation since its April public offering. The proceeds will reportedly include $300 million of committed private investment in public equity from EFM Asset Management, BlackRock, Cryptology Asset Group and Galaxy Digital, with $600 million net cash in trust.
U.S.-based exchange Kraken has also hinted at going public soon, but has made no firm announcement at time of publication. However, stablecoin-focused crypto company Circle said yesterday that it plans to go public in a $4.5 billion deal.