Crypto startup Bullish plans to go public in a reverse merger with the acquisition company backed by Tom Farley, former president of the New York Stock Exchange.
Farleys Far Peak Acquisition Corporation SPAC rose about 4% on the premarket news.
The deal announced on Friday is slated to close by the end of 2021 – and Farley, who oversaw the NYSE from 2014 to 2018, will then become CEO of Bullish.
“This is a big idea whose time has come,” Farley said in an interview with CNBC “Quäkkiste”, shortly after the deal was announced.
“Digital assets are here to stay. The smartest engineering talents get into digital assets; digital assets solve very important problems. Anyone who tells you they know exactly how it will turn out is lying or deceiving. We’re going to see more and more interesting use cases, more and more dollars pouring into the area, “he added.
Farley’s plans to run the cryptocurrency exchange are noteworthy given his experience with financial regulators from his time at the NYSE. The Prospect of additional regulation in the US is be closely watched by the crypto industry.
Bullish expects Far Peak to generate approximately $ 600 million in revenue and an additional $ 300 million through a PIPE or private investment in public equity. Numerous well-known investors take part in the PIPE, including BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, and Mike Novogratz ‘crypto-focused financial services company Galaxy Digital.
The merger between Far Peak and Bullish implies a pro forma share value of around $ 9 billion, according to a press release.
Bullish intends to launch “a revolutionary, regulated cryptocurrency exchange” later this year, with a private pilot program scheduled to begin in the coming weeks, the press release said. The exchange will “provide deep, predictable liquidity with technology that enables private and institutional investors to generate returns on their digital assets,” the press release said.
Thiel’s firms, Thiel Capital and Founders Fund, participated in Bullish’s capital increase in May. Other Bullish investors include British hedge fund manager Alan Howard, Galaxy Digital and Richard Li, a billionaire Hong Kong businessman.
The institutional takeover of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have been a big topic over the past year. Companies like Tesla and square to have invested in Bitcoin to stay on their balance sheet, and major Wall Street banks have taken steps to provide wealth management clients with access to digital assets.
Coinbase’s debut in the public market coincided with Bitcoin’s current all-time high nearly $ 65,000 per unit. However, the world’s largest cryptocurrency by market value has since struggled due to a number of factors including the Chinese government stepping up its crypto crackdown. Bitcoin traded below $ 33,000 on Friday morning. Last month, it plunged just below $ 29,000 at the beginning of the year.
Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies like ether run on decentralized digital ledgers, the so-called blockchains. While the digital asset industry has its sharp critics, his supporters see potential to traditional finances are disruptive with the use of so-called smart contracts and other blockchain-related innovations.
In one April CNBC interview, Farley said he believed the crypto room was “the best kept secret in the world and perhaps the history of financial markets.”
In 2015, when Farley was president, the New York Stock Exchange opened made a minority stake in Coinbase.