On July 30, 2020, Hong Kong-based crypto trading platform Diginex launched a new institutional-oriented exchange dubbed EQUOS.io, which is set to go public on the US NASDAQ stock exchange after gaining permission from market regulators.
EQUOS.io will integrate a team from the traditional derivatives space to expand the still-nascent crypto derivatives scene to hundreds of times the size of the spot market – just like traditional markets.
The new exchange launched by Diginex is now set to become the first publicly traded crypto exchange in the US, with the platform projected to kick off trading in spot markets with the integration of perpetual swaps, dated futures, and options.
Diginex currently operates spot trading in Singapore under a “temporary exemption” permit. Still, the exchange has clarified that it recently applied for an operating license from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).
8i Enterprises Acquisition Corp acquires Diginex
In order to list on NASDAQ, which holds the title of being the most important exchange for tech stocks in the world, Diginex has been acquired by 8i Enterprises Acquisition Corp, a NASDAQ-listed special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC).
SPAC are entities that help newer companies launch on a public exchange through a ‘backdoor,’ reducing the cost and time compared to traditional listing methods.
According to Diginex CEO Richard Byworth, the acquisition is set to be completed in Q3 of this year, opening up Equos.io as the first-ever publicly traded digital asset exchange in America.
“We are proud to deliver EQUOS.io, an exchange for virtual currencies and digital assets that challenges everything we have witnessed in the early growth of this industry,” Byworth noted.
The merger will see 8i Enterprises Acquisition Corp take over operations in Diginex group-wide businesses of EQUOS.io, including the crypto exchange, custody services, and its investment management business, Bletchley Park Asset Management (BPAM).
As to why Diginex chose to list their new exchange on NASDAQ, Byworth explained that the move is more about credibility and trust, as well as the firm’s “pedigree within traditional financial markets.”
More Crypto Businesses Look to go Public
Apart from the imminent EQUOS.io public listing, other crypto startups have expressed the intention to go public. One such company is Ant Group, a principal issuer for China’s e-Yuan. Coinbase exchange has also announced plans for public listing in 2021.
After successfully filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in February of this year and being re-approved in June, everything is now set for the EQUOS.io listing.
Even though US residents will be able to procure shares in EQUOS.io, the exchange itself will not operate in the country.
The decision to locate EQUOS.io in Singapore instead of Hong Kong, where Diginex is headquartered, was based on Singapore’s favorable regulatory environment for cryptocurrencies.