Web3 Weekly: Big Exchanges Readying Huge War Chests For Crypto Winter

This is a weekly feature that will look back at the week that was in crypto, blockchain and Web3 and offer insights and analysis. Check out last week’s here

Where some see risk, others see opportunity.

That is certainly true in crypto, as Binance’s founder and CEO Changpeng Zhao said in an interview with Bloomberg last week that the digital-asset exchange giant may spend more than $1 billion on acquisitions and investments this year, despite what has been a tumultuous year for crypto.

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The report stated Binance has committed $325 million to 67 projects this year, compared to $140 million for 73 projects last year.

Just last month, Binance put in a bid for the assets of distressed lender Voyager Digital, which filed for bankruptcy in July for $1.4 billion.

However, the winning bid went to another large exchange—Sam Bankman-Fried’s crypto exchange giant FTX. In July, FTX provided a $250 million line of credit to lender BlockFi which includes an option to buy. In a recent interview with CNBC’s Squawk Box, Bankman-Fried said the exchange giant has at least $1 billion to use on acquisitions and bailouts.

Another crypto exchange giant, Coinbase, also has made its intentions for dealmaking clear. During the company’s Q2 earnings call in August, Coinbase’s President and COO Emilie Choi said the company will continue to be active across both ventures and M&A.

Just a few weeks ago we talked about the dearth of M&A dealmaking this year in crypto after what was a fast start. The last couple of quarters have seen big deals (such as Bolt dropping plans to buy crypto and payment infrastructure company Wyre for $1.5 billion) fall by the wayside as valuations have declined and the crypto winter has gotten colder.

However, with some of the biggest exchanges building up huge warchests and many valuations of startups falling, Christmas shopping may be coming early for some of these large crypto players.

Illustration: Dom Guzman


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