In brief

  • Diginex operates the EQUOS cryptocurrency exchange.
  • It is now the first crypto exchange operator to be listed on the Nasdaq, following a merger.
  • Analysts say the listing bodes well for crypto among both retail and institutional investors.

Diginex will soon become the first listed company on the NASDAQ with a cryptocurrency exchange, following the completion of its merger with 8i Enterprises Acquisition Corp., a special purpose acquisition firm. 

Hong Kong-based Diginex Ltd. said it raised $50 million, including a private raise prior to the listing as well as cash remaining in the special purpose acquisition company. The firm will trade on the NASDAQ under the ticker symbol EQOS, while its warrants will trade under the ticker EQOSW. 

CEO Richard Byworth called the listing “a watershed moment for both Diginex and the cryptocurrency industry” with the historic deal to begin trading on the exchange, in the announcement. 

“We believe we are the first because of our commitment to providing innovative products in a trusting, fair and compliant environment,” a company spokesperson told Decrypt, in an emailed statement. “The Diginex ecosystem has been designed specifically to support the needs of professional investors from institutional to retail who are interested in raising their exposure to digital assets.”

The company said that it plans to continue building out its architecture and infrastructure, including rolling out a suite of derivative products for the EQUOS cryptocurrency exchange and expanding the reach of its Diginex Access multi-venue trading platform.

Asked about the current investment climate, officials told Decrypt that “current fiscal and monetary policies are making non inflationary and safe haven assets more attractive.”

“We see investors showing increased interest in Bitcoin in particular, and we expect this interest in digital assets to continue,” the company said. 

The Federal Reserve last month signaled plans to keep rates near zero for possibly another three years, as the COVID-19 impact has created a long horizon to regain full employment. 

At least one financial analyst sees the Nasdaq listing raising the profile of the firm to the next level and opens up brand new opportunities for investors.

“I think definitely the fact that its listing on Nasdaq adds real legitimacy to the deal for sure and also the fact that the company Diginex itself, is a full fledged exchange in and of itself,” Wally Okby, senior analyst at research and advisory firm Aite Group told Decrypt. “It basically allows investors, by going on the Nasdaq, the ability for retail investors to invest directly into the exchange, which is an opportunity most retail investors never get.”

He said the current economic environment has created an interest in diversifying into uncorrelated asset classes, but said there remain main other investors that are risk averse and sitting on piles of cash.

Shareholders of 8i Enterprises previously approved the merger at a Sept. 15th meeting. The Diginex ecosystem includes the EQUOS exchange, the Diginex Access digital asset trading technology platform, the Diginex Capital advisory firm, the Digivault custody provider and Bletchley Park Asset Management.