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Crypto lender BlockFi recordsdata for chapter, cites FTX publicity

Creator of the article:



Hannah Lang and Niket Nishant and Manya Saini

Publishing date:

Nov 28, 2022  •  7 minutes in the past  •  4 minute learn

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Cryptocurrency lender BlockFi has filed for Chapter 11 chapter safety, it mentioned on Monday, the newest crypto casualty after the agency was harm by publicity to the spectacular collapse of the FTX change earlier this month.

The submitting in a New Jersey courtroom comes as crypto costs have plummeted. The worth of bitcoin, the preferred digital foreign money by far, is down greater than 70% from a 2021 peak.

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“BlockFi’s Chapter 11 restructuring underscores important asset contagion dangers related to the crypto ecosystem,” mentioned Monsur Hussain, senior director at Fitch Rankings.

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New Jersey-based BlockFi, based by fintech executive-turned-crypto entrepreneur Zac Prince, mentioned in a chapter submitting that its substantial publicity to FTX created a liquidity disaster. FTX, based by Sam Bankman-Fried, filed for cover in the US earlier in November after merchants pulled $6 billion from the platform in three days and rival change Binance deserted a rescue deal.

“Though the debtors’ publicity to FTX is a significant explanation for this chapter submitting, the debtors don’t face the myriad points apparently going through FTX,” mentioned the primary day bankruptcty submitting by Mark Renzi, managing director at Berkeley Analysis Group, the proposed monetary advisor for BlockFi. “Fairly the alternative.”

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BlockFi mentioned the liquidity disaster was as a consequence of its publicity to FTX by way of loans to Alameda, a crypto buying and selling agency affiliated with FTX, in addition to cryptocurrencies held on FTX’s platform that turned trapped there. BlockFi listed its belongings and liabilities as being between $1 billion and $10 billion.

Renzi mentioned that BlockFi had offered a portion of its crypto belongings earlier in November to fund its chapter. These gross sales raised $238.6 million in money, and BlockFi now has $256.5 million in money available.

In a courtroom submitting on Monday, BlockFi listed FTX as its second-largest creditor, with $275 million owed on a mortgage prolonged earlier this 12 months. It mentioned it owes cash to greater than 100,000 collectors. The corporate additionally mentioned in a separate submitting it plans to put off two-thirds of its 292 staff.

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Underneath a deal signed with FTX in July BlockFi was to obtain a $400 million revolving credit score facility whereas FTX received an choice to purchase it for as much as $240 million.

BlockFi’s chapter submitting additionally comes after two of BlockFi’s largest opponents, Celsius Community and Voyager Digital, filed for chapter in July citing excessive market situations that had resulted in losses at each corporations.

Crypto lenders, the de facto banks of the crypto world, boomed throughout the pandemic, attracting retail clients with double-digit charges in return for his or her cryptocurrency deposits.

Crypto lenders should not required to carry capital or liquidity buffers like conventional lenders and a few discovered themselves uncovered when a scarcity of collateral pressured them – and their clients – to shoulder giant losses.

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BlockFi’s first chapter listening to is scheduled to happen on Tuesday FTX didn’t reply to a request for remark.


BlockFi’s largest creditor is Ankura Belief, an organization that represents collectors in harassed conditions, and is owed $729 million. Valar Ventures, a Peter Thiel-linked enterprise capital fund, owns 19% of BlockFi fairness shares.

BlockFi additionally listed the U.S. Securities and Change Fee as one among its largest collectors, with a $30 million declare. In February, a subsidiary of BlockFi agreed to pay $100 million to the SEC and 32 states to settle prices in reference to a retail crypto lending product the corporate supplied to just about 600,000 traders.

Bain Capital Ventures and Tiger World co-led BlockFi’s March 2021 funding spherical, in response to a press launch issued by BlockFi on the time. Each companies didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.

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In a weblog submit, BlockFi mentioned its Chapter 11 circumstances will allow the corporate to stabilize its enterprise and maximize worth for all stakeholders.

“Appearing in the perfect curiosity of our shoppers is our prime precedence and continues to information our path ahead,” BlockFi mentioned.

In its chapter submitting, BlockFi mentioned it had employed Kirkland & Ellis and Haynes & Boone as chapter counsel.

BlockFi had earlier paused withdrawals from its platform.

In a submitting, Renzi mentioned that Blockfi intends to hunt authority to honor consumer withdrawal requests from its buyer pockets accounts, through which crypto belongings are held in custody. Nevertheless, the corporate didn’t disclose its plans for the way it would possibly deal with withdrawal requests from its different merchandise, together with its interest-bearing accounts.

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“BlockFi shoppers might in the end get better a considerable portion of their investments,” Renzi mentioned within the submitting.


BlockFi was based in 2017 by Prince, who’s at present the corporate’s chief govt officer, and Flori Marquez. Although headquartered in Jersey Metropolis, BlockFi additionally has workplaces in New York, Singapore, Poland and Argentina, in response to its web site.

In July, Prince had tweeted that “it’s time to cease placing BlockFi in the identical bucket / sentence as Voyager and Celsius.”

“Two months in the past we regarded the ‘similar.’ They shut down and have impending losses for his or her shoppers,” he mentioned.

In keeping with a profile of BlockFi printed earlier this 12 months by Inc, Prince was raised in San Antonio, Texas, and financed his school schooling on the College of Oklahoma and Texas State College with winnings from on-line poker tournaments. Earlier than beginning BlockFi with Marquez, he held jobs at Orchard Platform, a dealer seller, and at Zibby, a lease-to-own lender now referred to as Katapult.

Marquez beforehand labored at Bond Avenue, a small enterprise lending outfit that was folded in to Goldman Sachs in 2017, in response to Inc.

(Reporting by Hannah Lang in Washington, Niket Nishant and Manya Saini in Bengaluru and Elizabeth Howcroft in London Extra reporting by Dietrich Knauth, Modifying by Megan Davies, Conor Humphries, Matthew Lewis and Anna Driver)

Cengiz Goren
Cengiz Goren

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