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Former Binance execs launch hybrid crypto exchange Blum

binance-launch-crypto-blum
Edited by
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Former Binance execs launch hybrid crypto exchange Blum

Blum, a crypto trading app that merges CEX and DEX facilities for a new trading experience, launched to over 50,000 signups in its first 48 hours.

A group of Binance alumni announced the hybrid crypto exchange in a push to introduce an improved trading experience for new digital participants and veterans alike. The platform is backed by Binance Labs for its seventh cohort and was picked as one of 13 protocols out of more than 700 projects from around the globe. 

Blum promises to deliver a novel off-chain order book with on-chain settlement, allowing cryptocurrency trading on centralized or decentralized exchanges. The tokens will be automatically listed if sufficient liquidity exists. The startup plans to achieve this universal token access by pulling data from trusted protocols and platforms.

The hybrid crypto trading app will also support trading from mobile devices via a Telegram mini app, hopping on a growing trend of crypto trading on the private messaging social network. Users can switch between centralized and self-custody options, allowing traders to utilize popular wallet solutions like MetaMask.

Blum eyes Asian market, Georgian crypto license

Gleb Kostarev, a former Binance vice president, is Blum’s co-founder and CEO. Kostarev resigned from the crypto giant in September last year as the exchange planned its exit from Russian markets, after acting as Binance’s head of Asia and overseeing more than 60 markets including APAC, Eastern Europe, and Turkey since 2018.

Vladimir Smerkis, the ex-general manager for Binance Russia and CIS, is also a Blum official. Smerkis left Binance the same week as Kostarev and now serves as Blum’s chief marketing officer and co-founder. Vladimir Maslyakov, CTO of Thekey.space, is also a part of the project, per Kostarev’s Telegram announcement.

The platform said it will share details on its core team members later.

Blum is currently exploring potential regions for its headquarters and will target jurisdictions known for crypto-friendly regulations like Dubai, the platform told crypto.news. The hybrid exchange plans to build a global presence with an emphasis on emerging markets like Asia, particularly central and southeast regions in the continent.

However, the crypto trading venue decided against catering to U.S. customers due to the intricate regulatory landscape in that jurisdiction. Still, the platform intends to fully comply with international crypto legislation amid concerns over crypto’s status as a security or not.

Blum’s initial endeavors are focused on securing a Virtual Asset Service Provider (VASP) registration in Georgia by the first quarter of 2024. Georgia’s accommodating regulatory environment for cryptocurrencies positions it as a strategic launchpad within our target region.

Blum spokesperson

The firm also said that it may launch a native exchange token in the future, albeit with a distinct strategy from that of Binance. According to a company representative who spoke with crypto.news, the idea is to develop a blockchain tailored specifically for order book DEXs, with the chance of Blum serving as the native token within this ecosystem.

Our initial rollout phase introduces a system where users can accumulate points through engagements within the Telegram mini-app and forthcoming mobile applications. These accrued points hold the potential for conversion into tokens at a later stage

Blum spokesperson

Points are fast becoming a staple feature among crypto startups aiming to bootstrap community activity and garner users. The trend incentivizes users to interact with a protocol and accumulate internal capital through actions like transactions.

The hybrid crypto trading app is not the only startup built by exchange alumni, as ex-Alameda and FTX employees raised $17 million at a $120 million valuation last month for a platform dubbed Backpack as experts look to claim business share from industry stalwarts and service burgeoning markets.

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