FTX on the verge of purchasing BlockFi in $25M fire sale: Report

The cryptocurrency derivatives exchange could potentially buy out the troubled lender for pennies on the dollar.

Cryptocurrency exchange FTX is close to purchasing digital asset lender BlockFi’s remaining assets for $25 million, according to CNBC.

According to sources close to the matter, BlockFi’s equity investors were wiped out and are now writing their positions off at a loss. In addition, the FTX deal could take multiple months to close, opening up the possibility that the price tag could shift over that period. In June 2021, BlockFi had a reported valuation of $5 billion.

BlockFi CEO Zac Prince has since denied these rumors, taking to Twitter on June 30 to refute speculation that the company is being sold for $25 million.

Earlier this year, BlockFi had over 1 million clients, over $10 billion in assets and deposits, and had distributed more than $700 million in crypto rewards and interest. However, BlockFi’s fortunes quickly soured after it reportedly became a major creditor of the now troubled hedge fund Three Arrow Capital, also known as 3AC. As a result, it was forced to liquidate 3AC’s positions amounting to $1.33 billion, likely at a severe loss as the bear market intensified in June. 

The situation was exacerbated by 3AC posting collateral for the loan in $400 million worth of Grayscale Bitcoin Investment Trust (GBTC) shares, which often trade at a discount or premium to spot Bitcoin (BTC) prices. At the time of liquidation, GBTC shares were trading at a 34% discount to the net asset value of its Bitcoin holdings, which plunged further as BlockFi began closing the position.

Related: FTX may be planning to purchase a stake in BlockFi

Earlier this month, BlockFi said it would fire 20% of its 850-strong staff due to profitability woes in the short term. Just last week, FTX had extended a $250 million line of credit to BlockFi and denied rumors that it was acquiring the ill-fortuned firm. 

Update: Added Zac Prince’s latest Twitter update denying the company is being sold for $25 million. 

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