- The shutdown comes amidst an increasing number of crypto buy and sell options for retail traders in the Philippines.
- Bloom (the company) will refocus its efforts to over-the-counter transactions and remittances.
- In 2021, the company entered into a tech agreement with Binance; the global exchange was the app’s liquidity provider at that time.
BloomX app, a retail-focused crypto trading product of locally licensed exchange Bloom Solutions, is shutting down, according to two emails sent to customers by CEO Israel Keys.
Announcement of Closure
The email disclosed that on July 24, 2023, the company suspended deposit functionality on its platform. All trading functionalities will be stopped on August 7, 2023, leaving users with the option to withdraw or liquidate their funds.
In the email, Keys thanked users for their support and acknowledged the impact the closure could have on regular customers. He encouraged users to reach out to explore other services that BloomX can provide.
Why is the BloomX App Closing?
The closure of BloomX.app comes at a time of increasing options for buying and selling crypto in the Philippines, Keys noted. The CEO further said the company intends to refocus its attention on remittance and Over-The-Counter (OTC) services, where it was first known for.
“We initially created BloomX App to address a growing need in the play-to-earn space in the Philippines and provide cheaper access to cryptocurrencies for the everyday Filipino. It was an experiment for us and our first foray into the crypto retail space,” Keys said in the email.
Timeline of BloomX App
BloomX, also known as Bloom Solutions or Bloom, is a licensed crypto exchange in the Philippines that focuses on crypto OTC, remittances, and high-volume transactions. In 2018, it brought over-the-counter services to Palawan Pawnshop. By 2019, it had partnered with Remiit, Czarina Foreign Exchange, and Direct Agent 5 (which received its own crypto license in December 2022.)
In a year-end review published on BitPinas in 2020, Bloom’s then-Chief Strategy Officer and Co-Founder Luis Buenaventura revealed that the company pivoted into retail crypto trading, facilitating over 20,000 trades during the lockdown.
The pivot coincided not just with the lockdown but with the rise of Axie Infinity. BloomX opened up crypto trading via Facebook Messenger; users can trade crypto without leaving the social media platform. (BitPinas had an article describing the process.)
BloomX is the first licensed crypto exchange in the Philippines to offer SLP trading. Before BloomX, Axie Infinity players had to swap their in-game earnings via MetaMask before transferring to a local cash out option. This would entail gas fees that could be upwards ₱5,000 depending on the prevailing market fees at the time of the transactions.
“Our retail trading now accounts for over half of all our trading volume, and it’s propelled us into a space that is a lot more customer-centric than we’ve ever focused on previously,” Buenaventura said in December 2022. The month prior, Bloom announced facilitating over ₱1 million traded.
In March 2021, Bloom announced the launch of the BloomX app in Early Access, which would be its retail-focused app. The app leverages liquidity from Binance, which the company entered into a tech agreement with.
With Binance as its liquidity partner, BloomX was able to offer more cryptocurrencies than any other local retail crypto exchange at that time.
The app was earlier met with enthusiasm, as evidenced by feedback mentioned by the company via its Bloomcast weekly crypto show. Play-to-earn influencer Kookoo recorded a very popular video on how to use the app.
Interestingly, only users who signed up and got approved in its waitlist were able to use the app; BloomX (the app) never became available to the wider public. Play-to-earn gaming peaked in 2021.
(Editor Notes: BitPinas with Draper Startup House organized a Bitcoin meetup led and co-organized by Bloom CTO Ramon Tayag last July 27, 2023.)
This article is published on BitPinas: Licensed Crypto Exchange BloomX Shuts Down App, Refocuses to OTC
Disclaimer: BitPinas articles and its external content are not financial advice. The team serves to deliver independent, unbiased news to provide information for Philippine-crypto and beyond.