Crypto’s liquidity troubles spread to more platforms

NEW YORK (BLOOMBERG) – A broad-based sell-off in digital assets and the collapse of high-profile tokens TerraUSD and Luna have caused ripple effects across the crypto industry.

A wave of liquidations triggered fear of contagion risks. Major lenders Celsius Network and Babel Finance have frozen withdrawals, and Three Arrows Capital, a major crypto hedge fund, is facing liquidity troubles that rattled investors.

Total market value of cryptocurrencies, which topped US$3 trillion (S$4.17 trillion) in November, has dropped to US$957 billion, according to data from CoinGecko.

Below are the latest developments from the crypto fallout.

• Crypto yield firm CoinFlex pauses withdrawals

Crypto physical futures exchange CoinFlex said it paused all withdrawals on its platform, citing “extreme market conditions” last week and “continued uncertainty involving a counterparty,” without disclosing the name. The firm said that the counterparty isn’t Three Arrows Capital or any lending firm.

Founded in 2019, CoinFlex is a smaller crypto exchange focusing on derivatives trading. CoinGecko shows that it currently supports 34 crypto pairs for derivatives. The exchange’s investors include Roger Ver, one of the most vocal Bitcoin Cash advocates.

CoinFlex provided an estimated time for withdrawals of June 30. A company representative didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

• Voyager Digital sets limits on withdrawals

Crypto brokerage and exchange Voyager Digital is limiting customer withdrawals from its platform to US$10,000 and to 20 transactions during a 24-hour period.

The New York-based firm, which secured credit lines of US$485 million in the past week from Alameda Research to shore up protection for customer assets, announced the limits on its website. This week, it disclosed exposure of about US$660 million in loans to the troubled crypto hedge fund Three Arrows Capital, sending shares plunging as analysts raised the prospect of further damage.

Voyager shares trading in Toronto have plunged 95 per cent this year.

• Crypto lender Nexo taps Citigroup for M&As

Nexo, a crypto lender that has positioned itself as immune to the storms shaking decentralised finance, said it had hired Citigroup to advise on potential acquisitions.

The lender said it was seeking “best-in-class advice” from the bank, including on “liquidity restructuring deals,” according to a blog post dated June 22.

Nexo has made an unsolicited offer to acquire assets of its competitor Celsius, which has frozen investor withdrawals. The offer “didn’t come to fruition,” a Nexo spokesman said in an email. Citigroup declined to comment.