Crypto lender Voyager Digital suspends withdrawals, deposits


Stephen Ehrlich, CEO and Co-Founder Voyager Digital Ltd., speaks during the Piper Sandler Global Exchange and FinTech Conference in New York City, U.S., June 8, 2022. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

(Reuters) - Crypto lender Voyager Digital said on Friday it has suspended withdrawals, trading and deposits to its platform and said it is exploring strategic alternatives to preserve the value of its platform.

The move comes days after the company issued a default notice to embattled hedge fund Three Arrows Capital (3AC) for the fund's failure to make required payments on a loan.

In a statement, Voyager Chief Executive Stephen Ehrlich said the move gives the company "additional time to continue exploring strategic alternatives with various interested parties" while preserving the value of the platform.

Voyager said in a release that it had hired Moelis & Company and the Consello Group as financial advisors, and Kirkland & Ellis LLP as legal advisors "to support is exploration of strategic alternatives."

On June 22, Voyager signed an agreement with Alameda Ventures Ltd for a revolving line of credit, gaining access to additional capital to meet its customers' liquidity needs as crypto prices take a hit.

In a release, New Jersey-based Voyager said the value of the crypto assets it holds is $685 million, compared with the more than $1.12 billion in crypto assets it had loaned.

Voyager said it had lent $350 million and 15,250 bitcoins to 3AC. A person familiar with the matter told Reuters on Wednesday that 3AC has entered liquidation.

The move by Voyager comes less than a month after rival crypto lender Celsius Network suspended withdrawals, citing extreme market conditions. Celsius has not yet opened withdrawals back up for its customers.

Many of the crypto industry's recent problems can be traced back to the spectacular collapse of so-called stablecoin TerraUSD in May, which saw the stablecoin lose almost all its value, along with its paired token.

Bitcoin, the largest and most well-known cryptocurrency, is down 58% in the first six months of 2022, its worst first half of year showing ever.

(Reporting by Hannah Lang in Washington; Editing by Leslie Adler and Marguerita Choy)

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