Bullish, a blockchain-based cryptocurrency exchange, officially began operating on Tuesday for an inaugural batch of institutional investors, marking an important milestone that paves the way for a full launch with retail investors at a later date.
At the time of the launch, the Bullish exchange’s offering was comprised of bitcoin, ether, EOS tokens and USD coins. The exchange said it will broaden the digital assets it can offer in the future.
Among the first clients to operate on the Bullish exchange are a non-U.S. affiliate of Virtu Financial, the electronic market-making firm based in New York, and the Hong Kong-based crypto finance firm Amber Group.
Bullish was established earlier this year as a subsidiary of Block.one, a blockchain software company backed by a group of renowned investors including PayPal cofounder Peter Thiel, hedge fund managers Alan Howard and Louis Bacon, and Hong Kong tycoon Richard Li. Eventually, Bullish will offer automated market making, lending, and portfolio management tools to its users.
Brendan Blumer, the chairman of Bullish, highlighted the infrastructure of the exchange that’s “designed to meet the needs of investors who are seeking secure exposure to digital assets on a regulated platform, and with innovative liquidity and portfolio management options stemming from an entirely new exchange architecture.
Bullish is initially making $3 billion of its assets available to its liquidity pools, which facilitate automated lending and market-making functions. The exchange will incorporate Block.one’s open-source blockchain software called EOSIO.
Bullish is slated to go public on the New York Stock Exchange through a merger with special purpose acquisition company Far Peak Acquisition Corp. in a transaction that will value the combined company at about $9 billion.
After the merger is completed, Blumer will become chairman of the combined entity and Far Peak CEO Thomas W. Farley, a former president of the New York Stock Exchange, will become the CEO of Bullish. The deal is expected to close by the end of 2021 or by the first quarter of 2022.
Bullish was awarded a distributed ledger technology (DLT) license from the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission (GFSC) earlier this year.
“As the world’s first jurisdiction to enact purpose-built legislation in support of DLT, we believe Gibraltar is becoming a leading blockchain and virtual assets hub, and that it can provide an environment for cryptocurrency-focused companies to operate,” Blumer said at the time.