CRYPTO MOVERS AND PRICES
The crypto market was marginally up this morning, while ETH outperformed in the Top 10. ETH spot volume has surpassed that of BTC on Bitfinex, as the coin makes new all-time highs above roughly USD 4,300.
Crypto Story of the Day
Block.one, the firm behind the EOS network and asset, has announced plans to launch a new cryptocurrency exchange in 2021. The new venue, called Bullish Global, will seek to combine elements of centralized and decentralized exchanges. EOS has rallied about 40% on the news.
Block.one— based out of Washington, D.C.— raised USD 4 billion in a 2018 ICO. In 2019, the U.S. SEC announced it had settled charges with Block.one in relation to its ICO, which the regulator claimed had constituted an unregistered securities offering. As part of the settlement, Block.one agreed to pay a penalty of USD 24 million and didn’t admit wrongdoing.
In response to the deal, the firm pointed out that the settlement didn’t affect the status of the EOS token. According to Block.one, Bullish Global will be capitalized with USD 10 billion “in cash” and “digital assets following an initial injection by Block.one of USD 100 [million], 164,000 BTC, and 20 million EOS…”
Block.one also announced the completion of an additional round of investment of USD 300 million, with contributions from Thiel Capital, Founders Fund, Alan Howard, Louis Bacon, Richard Li, Christian Angermayer, Galaxy Digital, and Nomura.
The platform will combine centralized exchange features such as “performance, user privacy, and compliance offered by central order book technology” with DeFi “user benefits.” Bullish Global will utilize the EOS blockchain in order to create an “immutable audit trail” of all transactions processed on the Bullish platform, along with “automated market making, lending, and portfolio management tools.”
The token has largely underperformed in the current crypto rally when comparing highs made in May 2018, when the coin achieved an all-time high market cap of USD 18 billion, to its current market cap of USD 11 billion.
The EOS blockchain is referred to as a delegated proof-of-stake network; token holders elect 21 entities to process transactions. This feature has been accused of outsized reliance on delegated block producers in China, while the election process itself has seen accusations of corruption.
EOS is highly representative of the lofty expectations investors had of smart contract platforms that became available in the 2017-2018 ICO craze. EOS, despite its impressive fundraising, failed to materialize as an ETH competitor. However, unlike many ICO projects, EOS was reported to have converted raised funds to USD and BTC. Despite a lack of success otherwise, Block.one has arguably remained one of the best-funded crypto firms.
Having said that, Block.one announced a social media platform called Voice in 2019 and invested USD 150 million in the venture the following year. Despite the financial support, Voice has seen tepid growth.
Finally, Bullish wouldn’t be the first exchange to combine elements of centralized and decentralized trading. Bitfinex, for example, offers peer-to-peer lending of crypto and fiat, while Binance provides access to various DeFi yields. Bullish Global will have an uphill battle to differentiate itself in what’s arguably the most mature segment of crypto infrastructure at the moment: exchange-based trading.