Bullish acquires CoinDesk in cash deal, expanding crypto media presence

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President Tom Farley

20th November 2023 – (New York) Bullish, the crypto exchange led by former New York Stock Exchange President Tom Farley, announced its acquisition of CoinDesk, a prominent media company focused on cryptocurrencies. The all-cash deal, whose financial details were not disclosed, marks Bullish’s entry into the media industry. CoinDesk was previously acquired by Digital Currency Group in 2016 for $500,000.

The acquisition comes after CoinDesk made headlines last year with its coverage of Sam Bankman-Fried’s crypto empire, which had far-reaching implications for the market and compounded financial challenges for CoinDesk’s parent company.

Under the terms of the deal, CoinDesk’s existing management team, headed by CEO Kevin Worth, will remain in place, and the publication will operate as an independent subsidiary within Bullish. To ensure journalistic independence, CoinDesk will establish an editorial committee chaired by Matt Murray, former editor in chief of The Wall Street Journal.

Bullish, launched in 2021 and backed by prominent investors such as Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund, plans to support CoinDesk’s growth and expansion. The exchange aims to leverage its expertise and resources to assist CoinDesk in expanding its conference business into Asia, particularly in Hong Kong and Singapore.

In addition to the acquisition, Bullish is among the three contenders competing to acquire the remains of FTX, a collapsed crypto exchange. The outcome of the auction could potentially lead to the revival of the exchange following its planned exit from bankruptcy next year.

CoinDesk, with its media, events, and indexes divisions, generated $50 million in revenue last year. Farley expressed optimism about the digital assets industry and the value that CoinDesk’s products and services bring, particularly during a crypto bull run. Bullish is prepared to make significant investments in CoinDesk’s growth and believes in the potential synergies between the two companies.