Bullish buys CoinDesk as crypto media shakeups continue

crypto news outlet Coindesk logo with arrow down below it pointing to bullish logo. They're all inside a blank smartphone and is surrounded by by falling dollars.

The sale of crypto news site CoinDesk to a new owner has concluded, according to an announcement from the purchasing firm on Nov. 20.

Bullish, a firm operated by former New York Stock Exchange President Tom Farley, said that it acquired the news site from its previous owner, Digital Currency Group (DCG). CoinDesk will remain an independent subsidiary and will maintain its current leadership.

Bullish said that it would “immediately inject capital” into CoinDesk in order to promote the launch of new products, events, and services.

The purchasing company did not disclose the size of the transaction. However, a previous offer from another group of investors in July was reported to be worth approximately $125 million. DCG itself purchased CoinDesk for $500,000 in 2016.

Bullish involved in Block.one, FTX

CoinDesk’s new owner, Bullish, is a firm that is highly involved in the crypto industry. Bullish said today that its crypto exchange has seen over $300 billion in trading volume since its November 2021 launch. They were established by Block.one, the company behind EOS — a blockchain with a crypto token that ranked among the top ten in 2019.

Bullish is also a major contender in the revival of FTX, as it is vying against two other investors to purchase Sam Bankman-Fried’s failed crypto exchange.

Bullish’s involvement in the crypto sector has led to criticism among other members of the industry. Jason Yanowitz, founder of competing crypto news site Blockworks, called the deal “bad for our industry.” He argued that the purchase “crushes the editorial integrity of the [CoinDesk] brand” and suggested that the deal introduces biases.

However, CoinDesk’s industry ties are not entirely new. Its former owner, DCG, owns several high-profile cryptocurrency firms, including the crypto services firm Genesis and the asset manager Grayscale. CoinDesk typically disclosed that it shared a parent company with those firms whenever it covered any related developments.

Past acquisitions have provoked similar controversy due to possible influence from a buying company. For instance, crypto VC firm Foresight Ventures purchased The Block on Nov. 13, 2023. Binance purchased market aggregator CoinMarketCap in 2020.

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