Block.one, a blockchain platform backed by the billionaire Paypal and Palantir co-founder Peter Thiel, just invested $10 billion into its new subsidiary Bullish Global, which plans to release a crypto exchange later this year.
A press release on Tuesday described Bullish Global’s crypto exchange as a “blockchain-based cryptocurrency exchange designed to combine the performance, user privacy, and compliance offered by central order book technology with the vertically integrated user benefits of decentralized finance (DeFi) market architecture.”
The cryptocurrency exchange is set to launch this year and use the EOSIO and EOS Public Blockchain, the release said.
Alan Howard, the British billionaire hedge-fund manager and a Bullish Global investor, said Bullish would focus on “bridging the gap between digital assets and institutional actors,” adding that it would “shape the future of the financial sector as we witness greater mainstream adoption of digital currencies.”
“I am excited about being involved with Bullish’s mission to give its users more value-added control over their financial future,” he added.
The release said Bullish would provide institutional and retail investors services in market-making, lending, and portfolio management in a decentralized finance (DeFi) app without using banks as middlemen.
Bullish has received over $10 billion in cash and digital-asset backing from Block.one and the likes of Thiel Capital, Founders Fund, Howard, Louis Bacon, Richard Li, Christian Angermayer, Mike Novogratz’s Galaxy Digital, and the Japanese investment bank Nomura.
Block.one’s initial funding included 164,000 bitcoins, valued at about $9.7 billion; $100 million in cash; and 20 million EOS tokens. An additional funding round raised $300 million, the release said.
Thiel, Howard, Li, and Angermayer will also serve as senior advisors to the company as a part of the deal.
“Bullish’s balance sheet is strong, and its vertical integration offers stability and liquidity to the cryptocurrency space,” Thiel said in the release. “I’m happy to join Bullish as an investor and advisor as it gets started on a long and fruitful journey.”
Novogratz said he was excited about what Bullish could bring to the crypto space. “Bullish’s sheer size and scale combined with Block.one’s experience in high-performance blockchain engineering will make Bullish a formidable player from day one,” he said.
Block.one has faced headwinds since netting $4 billion from an initial coin offering in 2018.
The company paid a $24 million settlement to the Securities and Exchange Commission in 2019 to resolve allegations of conducting an unregistered ICO.
Bloomberg said a recent report from Electric Capital described declining developer interest in Block.one’s platform.
Correction: An earlier version of this article referred to Bullish Global as a cryptocurrency exchange. Bullish Global is a subsidiary of Block.one and Bullish is the firm’s cryptocurrency exchange.