According to Bloomberg, OKX has applied for regulatory approval in France and plans to build out its European hub in Paris. This makes it the latest overseas crypto firm to choose France as its base on the continent, following the likes of Circle, Crypto.com and Binance.
Why France, you may ask? Well, France is very welcoming of crypto firms, thanks to President Emmanuel Macron’s support for the sector. France has also introduced a registration process for crypto businesses that want to operate in the country. This requires them to meet certain standards of anti-money laundering and transparency, providing credibility for the sector.
OKX is not a small player in the crypto space. It is the fourth largest digital-asset exchange by trading volume, according to CryptoCompare. It offers a variety of products and services, such as spot trading, futures and options, lending and borrowing, staking and mining, and more.
OKX’s president, Hong Fang, said that having operations in France is crucial for engaging with European regulators and customers. He also expressed his confidence in OKX’s ability to provide a safe and reliable platform for crypto enthusiasts.
France’s Digital Minister, Jean-Noel Barrot, welcomed OKX’s decision. He said that it is testament to France’s positive policies on cryptoassets. He also said that France is committed to fostering innovation and competitiveness in the digital economy.
This news story is a great example of how OKX is constantly innovating and adapting to the changing regulatory landscape. It also shows how France is becoming a hub for crypto businesses in Europe, thanks to its supportive government and regulatory framework.
Vive la France!
A rare three-way merger of three crypto exchanges in Canada is all set to take place. The merger of WonderFi, Coinsquare and CoinSmart means a combination which creates one large crypto exchange, forming a company managing over $600 million in assets. The new enlarged business will have a user base of 1.65 million customers.
The new, and as yet unnamed, company will be in a stronger position to take on the big boys at the best crypto exchanges. Or so the thinking goes. The intention is that customers from each of the current crypto exchanges will trade through a single platform.
The composition of the equity in the merged business is proposed as 43% in favour of Coinsquare, 38% for WonderFi, and the remaining 19% for CoinSmart.
Merger of WonderFi and co: how unusual is three-companies merging?
A three-way company merger is certainly unusual. Indeed, a quick and dirty search in Google finds no examples of three companies merging into one. Either it has never happened (unlikely, of course) or I am not very good at using Google.
It is likely further mergers will happen in the near future. Crypto has had a bumpy ride since the pandemic, making sector consolidation a more realistic prospect. It is not certain that mergers will involve three companies though, considering it is so rare.
What does merger of WonderFi, Coinsquare and CoinSmart merger mean for customers?
Between them the three businesses of WonderFi, Coinsquare and CoinSmart generated around $37 million in revenue in 2022, so we’re not talking about industry giants here. Instead, the new business is likely to find cost synergies. This allows it to become operationally more efficient. In a normal business, these savings are ploughed back into marketing. This in turn generates more customers, and so on.
As for day-to-day operations, the executives at each of WonderFi, Coinsquare and CoinSmart have stressed that it is ‘business as usual’ for all existing customers.
Business performance of WonderFi, Coinsquare and CoinSmart
- WonderFi purchased Bitbuy and Coinberry in 2022. Registered users on the Bitbuy and Coinberry platforms surpassed 400,000 and 200,000 users, respectively, as of December 31, 2022
- The Bitbuy and Coinberry brands generated $2.6 million and $9.1 million respectively for the three and fifteen months ended December 31, 2022
- CoinSmart spent much of Q1 2023 arguing with CoinSquare about a merger of the two businesses. This has clearly been resolved now, with WonderFi also joining the partnership
- CoinSmart financial performance dipped in recent times, with Q3 2023 revenue of $2.35m being a 25% YOY decrease