Ex-NYSE President Tom Farley’s Bullish buys CoinDesk in all-cash deal

Quick Take

  • Tom Farley’s crypto exchange Bullish has acquired CoinDesk in an all-cash deal.
  • CoinDesk will maintain editorial independence, with former WSJ Editor-in-Chief Matt Murray at the helm of its editorial committee.

Bullish, a crypto exchange led by former New York Stock Exchange President Tom Farley, has acquired the crypto-focused media company CoinDesk in a 100% all-in cash deal, according to a statement and its own reporting.

The terms of the deal were not disclosed. However, CoinDesk’s parent company Digital Currency Group acquired the media outlet for $500,000 in 2016. CoinDesk has lines of business in media, events and indices, generating $50 million in revenue last year.

Under the new ownership, Kevin Worth, the current CEO of CoinDesk, will continue leading the team, with CoinDesk operating as a subsidiary within Bullish. An editorial committee chaired by Matt Murray, the former Editor-in-Chief of The Wall Street Journal, will also be established to ensure editorial independence.

“Bullish will immediately inject capital into several of CoinDesk’s most exciting growth initiatives which will power the launch of new services, events and products. We also want to express our unwavering support for CoinDesk’s commitment to journalistic independence," said Bullish CEO Tom Farley.

Backed by Block.one

Bullish was launched in November 2021 by Block.one as an independent entity under the Block.one parent company. Block.one has been historically tied closely to the EOS cryptocurrency project and raised $4 billion for it in a token sale. Yet more recently, the EOS community has tried to part ways with it, claiming that the funds raised weren't used for the development of the EOS project.

Block.one also invested $150 million into a project called Voice. It was initially supposed to be a social media app before it pivoted to NFTs. It wound down after two years.


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Backed by high-profile investors, including Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund, Bullish is a regulated crypto exchange, enabling users to buy, sell, and trade digital assets like bitcoin and ether. It currently uses a private version of the EOS blockchain and posts hashes of its data to the public EOS blockchain.

Bullish is also among the bidders for the bankrupt FTX crypto exchange.

At the end of July, The Wall Street Journal reported that CoinDesk was nearing a $125 million deal with a syndicate led by crypto investor Matthew Roszak of Tally Capital, which subsequently fell through.

CoinDesk laid off 45% of its editorial staff in August as it continued to eye a deal to sell the company.

Neither Bullish nor CoinDesk immediately responded to a request for comment from The Block.

© 2023 The Block. All Rights Reserved. This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

About Author

James Hunt is a reporter at The Block, based in the UK. As the writer behind The Daily newsletter, James also keeps you up to speed on the latest crypto news every weekday. Prior to joining The Block in 2022, James spent four years as a freelance writer in the industry, contributing to both publications and crypto project content. James’ coverage spans everything from Bitcoin and Ethereum to Layer 2 scaling solutions, avant-garde DeFi protocols, evolving DAO governance structures, trending NFTs and memecoins, regulatory landscapes, crypto company deals and the immersive metaverse. You can get in touch with James on Twitter or Telegram via @humanjets or email him at [email protected].


To contact the editor of this story:
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