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Binance acquires Chinese blockchain data startup DappReview for undisclosed sum

Cryptocurrency exchange Binance has acquired Beijing-based blockchain data startup DappReview, which tracks nearly 4,000 decentralized applications (dapps) built on over 10 public blockchains, including Ethereum and Tron.

The two firms did not disclose the price of the acquisition, according to an announcement Tuesday. Viktor Radchenko, founder of Binance’s Trust Wallet, told CoinDesk that the acquisition will help the exchange further develop its existing dapps and create new blockchain use cases.

“In the near future, Trust Wallet will integrate DappReview APIs [application programming interfaces] to provide easy access to explore new dapps and crypto games, as well as more insight into DeFi [decentralized finance] services, analytics and usage,” said Radchenko.

The acquisition means Binance will now have a wholly-owned unit based in China. The exchange recently denied having offices in Shanghai, as well as declined rumors that a Beijing office was upcoming. 

Blockchain adoption 

Founded last year, DappReview is a well-funded startup, having raised “millions of yuan” in a Series A round in June. “Next step, DappReview will expand its footprint on the global market, on which Binance will provide all needed support in terms of marketing and branding,” Niu told CoinDesk.

The acquisition took “about 2 to 3 months to finalize,” Niu told Chinese news outlet Block Beats, adding that DappReview will continue to operate as an independent brand. “After the completion of the acquisition, DappReview’s original business will continue to be cultivated, and the entire management team will remain unchanged,” he said.

Overall, DappReview plans to boost blockchain adoption with the acquisition. “The DApp penetration rate of currency holders is only about 2%… Expansion is not easy. The addition of Binance can expose DApps to more users holding coins, helping these users to become DApp users,” Niu told Block Beats. The firm is also expected to release a new suite of products in Q1 of 2020. 

Binance appears to be on an acquisition-spree. Just last month, Binance acquired Indian cryptocurrency exchange WazirX, reportedly in a $5-$10 million price range. In September, it bought out little-known Seychelles-based derivatives platform JEX and rebranded it to Binance JEX to offer cryptocurrency futures, options, and perpetual contracts. Last year in July, Binance also snapped up U.S.-based mobile wallet company Trust Wallet as its first acquisition ever. 

Industry consolidation 

Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity in the cryptocurrency and blockchain sector may be reaching an inflection point, The Block’s research analyst Ryan Todd wrote in a note last month. Both the number of deals and dollars spent is up ~50% in 2019 vs. 2017 levels. 

Last year was an outlier year though, with the top 10 largest M&A deals seeing an estimated $1.2 billion worth of activity, led by: Poloneix ($400 million), Bitstamp ($400 million) Earn.com ($120 million), and CryptoGlobal ($80.7 million). So far this year has only seen ~$300 million worth as the bear market impacted the mining business particularly hard, which was one of the larger beneficiaries of crypto M&A last year. “Assuming the Coinbase/Tagomi deal ends up going through, we can’t help but wonder if 2020 is setting up for increased M&A action as custody and exchange providers look to consolidate and aggregate deposits/flow,” wrote Todd.