Along with competitors including Celsius Network and Babel Finance, Vauld, a cryptocurrency lender supported by Coinbase Inc., said it suspended withdrawals and recruited advisers to investigate a potential restructuring to withstand the market crash. According to Chief Executive Officer Darshan Bathija’s blog post on Monday, the Singapore-based company has retained Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas and Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP as legal and financial advisers, respectively. The site has halted all trading, deposits, and withdrawals.
Less than three weeks after declaring that withdrawals were being processed as usual and continuing to be the case in the future, Vauld made its move. The reversal is a sign of how quickly falling prices are affecting the industry, taking down companies like Celsius and hedge fund Three Arrows Capital. Vauld revealed plans to reduce its employment by 30% soon after the attempt to reassure clients.
Vauld’s most recent announcement received a tepid response from the cryptocurrency markets, with Bitcoin trading 1.3 percent lower at $19,180 at 10:30 a.m. on Monday in London. Since its high in November, the largest cryptocurrency has fallen more than 70%.
Bathija and Sanju Kurian founded Vauld in 2018, which offers cryptocurrency lending and deposit products. In July of last year, it received $25 million in a Series A fundraising round spearheaded by Peter Thiel’s Valar Ventures. Coinbase Ventures additionally took part in the funding. Vauld had “in excess of” $197.7 million in customer withdrawals since June 12 as market circumstances deteriorated, according to Bathija’s blog post from Monday. The CEO stated that he aimed to increase assets under management from $1 billion to $5 billion in a May interview with the BusinessLine publication. According to the post, the business is also in discussions with possible investors. According to Bathija, the company intends to ask Singaporean courts for a moratorium “to give us breathing space to carry out the proposed restructuring procedure.”
According to the statement, Vauld would make “special arrangements” for deposits made by clients who must meet margin calls for collateralized loans.
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