All about the failure of the German cryptobank Nuri
by Marco Dell'Aguzzo
Nuri, a German cryptocurrency exchange platform, has requested the opening of insolvency proceedings. The crisis of the crypto industry continues. Here are details and context
Cryptocurrency exchange platform Nuri GmbH this week requested the opening of insolvency proceedings in Berlin, where it is based.
Founded in 2015, the company explained that it made this decision due to the crisis in the cryptocurrency sector, the bankruptcy of Celsius, its partner, (it is a sort of "crypto-bank" that promised very high returns), and the uncertainty on the financial markets.
He specified that its users – about 500 thousand – will continue to have access to their deposits. In April, it managed assets of around €500 million.
LOOKING FOR FUNDING, BUT WITHOUT SUCCESS
Il Sole 24 Ore wrote that in recent days Nuri has been looking for financials to increase his capital, but without success. The company does not hold a banking license, but has been cooperating with German fintech Solarisbank since 2018.
THE CRYPTOCURRENCY CRISIS
Despite being the first in Germany, Nuri's is not an isolated case globally. Indeed, it is the latest episode in a much broader phase of crisis of digital currencies based on cryptography, whose collapse in value has caused great upheavals in the sector, including revenue losses and substantial layoffs.
Bloomberg explained that the cryptocurrency industry is blaming the tightening of monetary policies adopted by several central banks around the world to contain inflation, which has developed a trend towards selling tokens within a wider detachment from higher-risk assets.
THE CASES OF VOYAGER, THREE ARROWS, COINBASE AND MORE
A few weeks ago Voyager Digital issued a default notification against Three Arrows Capital – a Singapore-based cryptocurrency hedge fund; Voyager is a subsidiary of its own – due to the impossibility of making the payment of a loan in cryptocurrencies worth over 650 million dollars.
Around the same time, Three Arrows Capital also filed for bankruptcy under U.S. Chapter 15, which allows foreign debtors to protect American assets, making the fund one of the most high-profile investment entities to be hit by the collapse in cryptocurrency prices.
In June, Coinbase, the American company behind the cryptocurrency exchange platform of the same name, announced an 18 percent cut in its employees. There have also been layoffs in other companies in the sector such as Crypto.com, BlockFi, Gemini and in Nuri itself.
A NEW BUBBLE?
Several experts have long been repeating that the extraordinary growth experienced by the cryptocurrency sector in the last two years was not destined to last long, and compared it to the so-called "dot-com bubble" (i.e. companies in the it sector) in the late nineties. The bubble exploded at the beginning of the Two Thousand: many overestimated dot-coms disappeared from circulation, but the most solid ones – such as eBay, Amazon and Yahoo! – have survived and remain relevant to this day.
Mike Jones, an investor at Science Inc., told the New York Times that even the euphoria over cryptocurrencies has led to overvaluation of many companies "that don't have the basics," but there are also well-organized companies that will survive the crisis.