Exactly one year ago today, EQONEX announced the public launch of its institutional-grade digital asset exchange.
On July 30, 2020, EQONEX outlined its plan to become a fully functioning digital asset exchange, starting out with spot trading but with plans to expand into derivatives products. The platform would also be fully interoperable with other EQONEX Group offerings, including custodial service Digivault. The vision is for EQONEX to become the trading venue of choice for professional and institutional investors and traders.
In early September 2020, EQONEX raised over $20 million in a convertible note, upsized from an initial target of $15 million. The level of interest in the funding round, and capital raised, indicated a significant level of interest in digital assets from institutional investors.
After receiving an overwhelming 80% support for the merger from shareholders, EQONEX became a NASDAQ-listed company on October 1, 2020—a historic moment in the cryptocurrency industry.
As a result, the EQONEX Exchange became the first exchange from a Nasdaq-listed digital asset exchange in the United States.
The EQONEX Exchange operates with a focus on compliance, security, and transparency. Furthermore, the EQONEX Group’s suite of products provides a comprehensive ecosystem of financial services for digital assets, reducing the friction involved in moving between different providers.
In the first quarter of 2021, the exchange expanded its range of products into derivatives, launching BTCUSDC perpetual futures in January and following up with ETHUSDC perpetual futures in March. The move was timely indeed, given that open interest in cryptocurrency futures was rising along with the price of Bitcoin.
Derivatives are a critical component in robust, liquid markets, often trading in values far higher than the underlying assets. Adding derivatives to the EQONEX range of products was a significant stride in attracting institutional clients to the exchange.
In March 2020, EQONEX achieved yet another world-first when it announced it was to become the first NASDAQ-listed company to issue a token. However, while token issuance has become almost synonymous with crowdfunding, the EQONEX Origin (EQO) token stands apart from the crowd simply because it isn’t for sale. Instead, the EQO token exists to promote the growth and adoption of the EQONEX exchange. Holders of the token are eligible for benefits including staking, airdrops, enhanced yield, cross-collateral margin, fee reductions, and more.
The only way to earn EQO tokens to access these benefits is by trading and staking on the EQONEX exchange. Moreover, the built-in halving mechanism ensures that the diminishing issuance and increasing benefits incentivize early participation.
EQONEX expanded the range of coin offerings on the exchange during March and April, adding the BCH/USDC and USDT/USDC pairs. In the latter case, the listing was an opportunity to put our robust qualification process to the test. In light of the fact that Tether had recently settled an outstanding lawsuit with the New York Attorney General and published the results of an independent audit into its reserves, the listing passed after extensive debate by the EQONEX listing committee.
In April, Treasury Management International (TMI), the leading corporate treasury publishing group, selected EQONEX as its exchange partner to receive payment in Bitcoin. The initiative was part of a broader study into the practical applications of crypto assets for corporate treasurers. It came amid reports that many firms now choose to hold part of their balance sheet reserves in crypto.
In May, Digivault, the EQONEX Group’s preferred custodian, became the first stand-alone digital custodian to receive approval from the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority to store cryptocurrency under the nation’s money laundering regulations. The approval provides EQONEX clients with the peace of mind that their digital assets are in safe and compliant storage.
During April and May, as interest in the cryptocurrency markets rose rapidly with the price of Bitcoin, 24-hour spot and derivatives trading volumes on the exchange reached new record highs, exceeding $200 million. Over the 30 days leading up to May 24, trading volumes were up 40% compared to the previous period.
In early June, EQONEX was awarded an “A+” transparency rating on Nomics, a leading independent crypto data exchange provider. The A+ rating is the highest possible and demonstrates that Nomics has vetted an exchange’s trade history and that it meets the highest standards of reliability, consistency, and data integrity.
Later in June, EQONEX announced a major rebrand, unifying all the EQONEX Group businesses. The EQONEX Group is now the parent brand of the EQONEX exchange and sister businesses, including custody provider Digivault and cryptocurrency fund of funds, Bletchley Park.
By the end of June, we were delighted to report that even as the cryptocurrency markets had entered a distinct period of bearish trading since April’s all-time high, EQONEX continued to see a solid upward trajectory on average daily trading volumes.
Looking back over the last year of trading, it’s evident that there’s a tipping point for trading volumes around the same time the EQO token began trading. It reinforces that EQO is a significant driver of value for the EQONEX platform, with the benefits it offers creating demand among traders.
In early July, we rolled out the Sub Account feature, allowing traders to segregate assets and margin and trade any such Sub Account as a separate risk bucket. Sub Accounts provide greater flexibility to traders looking to implement more sophisticated or efficient risk management strategies.
Alongside all these milestones, we’ve also taken every opportunity to expand our network. Over the last year, we’ve onboarded strategic partners, including leading global market maker GSR Markets, which played a critical role in providing early liquidity for our newly launched perpetual futures products back in January.
Since then, we’ve also established partnerships with algorithmic trading firm Kronos Research and institutional liquidity provider, Parallel, both of which provide liquidity on the EQONEX platform. These partners play a critical role in supporting EQONEX’s commitment to transparency, as, unlike many exchange operators, we don’t market make on our own platform.
After a year of achievements, we’d like to thank our partners, customers, shareholders, and everyone else who’s been a part of the EQONEX journey so far. We’re proud of how far we’ve come over the last year, and we’re looking forward with optimism to a new set of challenges and opportunities in the year ahead.
 Approval from the FCA to register as a custodian wallet provider under the Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information of the Payer) Regulations 2017 (MLR 2017), as amended.
Global Head of Sales Trading Matt Blom went live with The Birb Nest to discuss the EQONEX vision for crypto, and the power and potential of its exchange token EQO. Watch the AMA, where he discusses our institutional grade technology, EQO, the upcoming EQO Dollars airdrop, and more!
Ranked Top 20 For All Exchanges Globally by Cryptocurrency Market Data Provider Nomics