As crypto becomes more mainstream, we’re likely to see many more exchanges and businesses pop up here and there… And sometimes, these exchanges attract the attention (and funds) of other exchanges, like the recent case of Blade and Coinbase.
Blade – A New Kind of Crypto Exchange
Blade is a new cryptocurrency exchange looking to make a name for itself and compete with the big dogs, i.e. Binance – the largest and most popular cryptocurrency exchange in the world – and Coinbase, based in the U.S. The latter is known for its many course offerings and the ever-growing number of assets it offers on Coinbase Pro, but what it probably isn’t known for is how much funding it’s provided to past ventures looking to ease their way into the crypto arena.
Blade is one such venture, having recently secured more than $4 million in funding from Coinbase, along with several Silicon Valley-situated companies looking to expand the country’s technical capabilities. Run by Jeff Byun and Henry Lee of Order Ahead, Blade was ultimately acquired by Square in 2017, and has recently sought the assistance of investors to help get its trading platform off the ground.
But there are a few catches that should be made clear. In an age where regulation seems to be the primary focus, Blade is taking what many consider the “easy route” and marketing itself to outside territories where regulation is either weak or non-existent. Byun admits while these areas have their problems, it’s the best way to garner volume quickly. He states:
It’s kind of a bifurcated market. Either you have exchanges like Coinbase or Gemini or Bittrex that cater to the U.S. market that are highly regulated, or the exchanges that cater to the non-U.S. market that are much less regulated, but that’s where most of the volume is.
The move is risky to say the least, given the lack of regulatory prowess. Thus, U.S. investors will not be allowed to legally take part in the exchange’s operations. Blade says it’s focusing primarily on East Asia and neighboring areas. One would think this might potentially get in the way of its funding process, but with nearly $5 million in its pocket at press time, the circumstances appear to be unaffecting.
Some Growing Developments
Byun and his partner also have some very big plans for the company, with Byun claiming:
In the long term, we want to be the CME (Chicago Mercantile Exchange) of crypto. Coinbase and BInance are building this foundational structure for crypto, but I think we are too, and in a sense that derivatives are at their core about risk transfer, we want to be building the foundational layer for risk transfer in the crypto markets.
The company is scheduled to go live in the next three weeks.