Tom Farley: The New Face of FTX?

Photo - Tom Farley: The New Face of FTX?
Tom Farley, CEO of the crypto exchange Bullish, made headlines on CNBC by expressing interest in acquiring the assets and brand of FTX. This announcement has stirred curiosity about Farley's identity and his journey in the financial world. So, who exactly is Tom Farley, and how serious are his aspirations?
Tom Farley, a name well-established in traditional finance, is lesser-known in the cryptocurrency sector.
Formerly the president of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), Farley currently helms the crypto exchange Bullish. He is also recognized for his acquisition of the renowned news outlet CoinDesk from Barry Silbert, the owner of Digital Currency Group. There's speculation about Peter Thiel's involvement in the purchase, though Thiel himself hasn't confirmed this.

In November 2023, Farley confirmed that he is considering the acquisition of FTX's assets, following the exchange's bankruptcy filing in July 2023. He is awaiting the final verdict in the case of its former owner before making his offer public.

Who is Tom Farley?

Born in 1975 in Washington, D.C., Tom Farley's early life was shaped by his father, John Farley, a judge on the United States Court of Appeals. Tom graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Political Science from Georgetown University in 1997.

Following his graduation, Tom embarked on a career in investment banking at Morgan Stanley. He spent four years there before moving to the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), the parent company of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).

While at ICE, Farley held a series of leadership roles, including the position of Senior Vice President of Financial Products. His career saw a significant advancement in 2013 when he was named the Chief Operating Officer of the NYSE, followed by his appointment as President in 2016.

As President of the NYSE, Farley led the introduction of several innovative products and initiatives. These included the launch of the Bitcoin Index and facilitating venture investments in Coinbase.
Tom Farley. Source: CNBC

Tom Farley. Source: CNBC

Tom Farley's Cryptocurrency Venture

Tom Farley's venture into the world of cryptocurrencies began in 2017, recognizing their potential to revolutionize the traditional financial landscape.

In 2021, Farley took the helm as the chairman of Global Blue, a Swiss company catering to retailers serving international tourists. Notably, Global Blue holds substantial cryptocurrency assets, with Farley spearheading an initiative to broaden the scope of digital payments.

The same year marked the inception of the cryptocurrency exchange Bullish, co-founded by Tom Farley and Brendan Blumer. Operating as a subsidiary of, a blockchain software company, Bullish avoids the American and Chinese markets and steers clear of clients from countries under sanctions. The exchange is committed to regulatory compliance, possessing all necessary licenses and permits.

In late October 2023, Farley made headlines with the acquisition of CoinDesk, sealing the deal for $50 million and stepping in as the CEO of the reputable crypto media outlet.

This acquisition sparked varied reactions within the crypto community. While some viewed it as an opportunity for CoinDesk to solidify its position in the industry, others worried about Farley's traditional financial background potentially compromising the media's independence. To date, CoinDesk's journalists maintain that their editorial policy has remained unchanged.

Post-acquisition, Bullish has intensified its marketing efforts towards institutional investors. In November 2023, the company reported a staggering 30-day trading volume of $1.2 billion, a tenfold increase from the previous year.

It seems that Tom's investment in crypto media has paid off handsomely.

Tom Farley's Personal Life and Privacy

Known for his discretion, Tom Farley seldom reveals details about his personal or professional life. His ascent to the CEO of Bullish was notably low-profile.

During a CNBC interview in November 2023, Farley refrained from discussing his political views or the specifics of his deal with Barry Silbert.

However, some personal details have emerged:

  1. Farley is happily married to Molly Farley, with whom he shares three daughters.
  2. An avid baseball fan, he sits on the National Baseball League's board of directors.
  3. Farley is deeply involved in philanthropy, supporting initiatives like:
  • The Robin Hood Foundation, New York City's largest poverty-fighting organization.
  • The New York City Ballet, a ballet company founded in 1948.
  • The Kennedy Center, a national center for the performing arts in Washington.

He also founded The Farley Foundation, focusing on educational endeavors.
Thomas Farley and his wife Molly. Source: marketrealist

Thomas Farley and his wife Molly. Source: marketrealist

Farley's potential acquisition of FTX assets could be a game-changer for the cryptocurrency market, though it carries inherent risks, especially concerning regulatory approval. This might explain why Thomas Farley has been cautious in his public statements regarding his future plans.