03 Oct 2022

Crypto exchanges are on a buying spree

The fast-paced crypto industry has been the arena for an enormous amount of M&As in the last two years. Unsurprisingly, the crypto exchanges are the biggest acquirers.
Source: Architect Partners
Over the last two years, 354 acquisitions have occurred in the crypto industry. During the bull market in 2021, tactical acquisitions were a popular method for crypto firms to expand. The nature of purchases has changed during this bear market as the strongest crypto companies use the opportunity to make distressed M&As and asset acquisitions.The exchanges have been the top acquirers in the crypto industry over the last two years. Coinbase has acquired eight companies, FTX six and Gemini five.There are several reasons for the crypto exchanges' high acquisition activity. Firstly, exchanges are the biggest and highest cash-yielding companies in the crypto industry, meaning they have enormous amounts of cash ready to deploy. Secondly, exchanges get incredible overviews of the crypto landscape and are in great positions to find acquisition targets.Still, the most important reason crypto exchanges are such active acquirers is that the exchange market is far from mature, and exchanges are rushing to expand as fast as possible. The fastest way to expand is through acquisitions. Coinbase is expanding into the fast-growing Turkish market by purchasing the country's leading crypto exchange BTC Turk. Meanwhile, FTX bought the leading Japanese exchange, Liquid.FTX has recently made headlines with acquisitions of bankrupt crypto lender Voyager and an option to buy crypto lender Blockfi. The distressed acquisitions have just started in the industry, as we see several prominent crypto companies, including FTX, raising money to continue their buying spree.
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