Voyager Digital reduces withdrawal limit after reporting $660 million exposure to Three Arrows Capital

Voyager Digital disclosed that they had loaned $350 million in stablecoins and 15,250 Bitcoin (around $310 million) to Three Arrows Capital, a crypto hedge fund that could not meet its margin calls amidst a crypto downturn and the failure of large projects like Terra. Voyager asked 3AC to repay the loan, but reported they were "unable to assess at this point the amount it will be able to recover". They did not disclose whether they held collateral for the loan. After the announcement, shares of the publicly-traded company plummeted more than 60%.

Later that day, Voyager reduced the daily withdrawal limit from $25,000 to $10,000, suggesting they were having trouble meeting customer demand for withdrawals.

The prior week, Voyager announced they had secured a line of credit from Alameda Research amounting to $200 million in cash and 15,000 Bitcoin. Alameda Research is a trading firm founded by Sam Bankman-Fried, who also runs the FTX crypto exchange.

Vauld lays off 30% of workforce and slashes executive pay

The Peter Thiel- and Coinbase-backed Vauld cryptocurrency exchange laid off 30% of its 100–200 employees, reportedly due to falling prices, low trading volumes, and tax concerns. They also halved executive salaries and drew back on their marketing expenses and vendor contracts.

Almost a year earlier, in June 2021, Vauld raised $25 million in a Series A round led by Peter Thiel's Valar Ventures, which was also joined by Coinbase and Pantera Capital.

Sam Bankman-Fried performs second bailout, loaning $250 million to BlockFi

Crypto exchange FTX loaned $250 million to BlockFi, a crypto lending platform that recently announced 20% layoffs as they struggled to weather the crypto downturn. BlockFi also had loaned funds to Three Arrows Capital, an insolvent crypto hedge fund, although they claim to have successfully liquidated 3AC's positions.

The FTX loan represents the second bailout of a crypto firm by Sam Bankman-Fried's companies, after his Alameda Research trading firm extended credit equivalent to around $485 million to floundering crypto platform Voyager.

Bybit plans to cut 20–30% of its workforce

Bybit, a Dubai-based cryptocurrency exchange, is reportedly joining the group of crypto companies laying off employees amidst plummeting cryptocurrency markets. Journalist Colin Wu reported that Bybit plans to lay off about 20–30% of its 2,000 employees, or around 400–600 people.

Two QAnon influencers running crypto scams steal more than $2 million from their followers

Research firm Logically published an investigation into two QAnon influencers who successfully convinced their follower to put more than $2 million into crypto scams. Telling their followers that they could predict the success of cryptocurrencies because of access to "secret military intelligence", they capitalized on QAnon conspiracy theories to defraud their followers through various pump-and-dump schemes. The influencers made claims including that they had personal connections with Elon Musk, Donald Trump, and John F. Kennedy, Jr. (who died in 1999, despite some QAnon theories), or that "aliens want us to trade cryptocurrency 'as an on-ramp to familiarize ourselves with the quantum financial system until we can evolve into 5D and trade assets with our consciousness'".

According to Logically, the "vast majority" of people following the influencers' investment advice "lost anywhere between several hundred and tens of thousands of dollars". One man lost more than $100,000, resulting in him also losing his house and construction business. The man ultimately died by suicide.

South Korea bans current and former Terraform Labs employees from leaving the country

A former employee of Terraform Labs, the company behind the Terra project that collapsed in May, found that he was banned from leaving the country. According to the former employee, he wasn't notified at all: "when i found out about this, the south korean prosecution told me they usually don't notify people of this because they might destroy evidence and/or leave the country beforehand".

He later clarified that he was willing to cooperate with the investigation against TFL, but was dismayed that employees who left long before the collapse were facing an exit ban, and that they weren't notified of the ban.

Terra is facing a class action lawsuit from Korean investors, and local news had previously reported that South Korean authorities had launched an investigation.

Lacoste Discord among the latest to be hacked

So, apparently polo shirts have NFTs now. Fashion brand Lacoste's NFT project is titled "Undw3", which is apparently supposed to be pronounced "underwater"—I guess if you say the 3 in French it sort of sounds like the English... word... "underwater"... anyway. The Discord for that NFT project was one of the latest to be hacked in a string of Discord hacks so prolific that I've basically stopped reporting on them individually. Like many recent Discord hacks, this one was accomplished by compromising a moderator's account. The account was then used to post a fake mint link, and users who signed the transaction approval found their assets transferred to the attacker.

Since the last post about an NFT project having its Discord compromised, five days ago, we've seen at least fifteen more projects suffer the same: Clyde, Good Skellas, Duppies, Oak Paradise, Tasties, Yuko Clan, Mono Apes, ApeX Club, Anata, GREED, CITADEL, DegenIslands, Sphynx Underground Society, FUD Bois, and Uncanny Club.

Hoo exchange pauses withdrawals

The Hong Kong-based cryptocurrency exchange Hoo announced that they would be pausing withdrawals, after so many customers tried to withdraw their crypto that they began to run out of funds in their hot wallet. The company assured customers in a blog post that the pause was temporary and that withdrawals would resume in 24–72 hours once transfers from a "backup multi-signature wallet and other assets" were complete, leaving one to wonder what those other assets might be. The blog post finished by stating, "The platform is trying to reconfigure medium- and long-term assets in an orderly and reasonable manner. Please don't worry and there will be no loss of your assets."

Defi insurer Bancor pauses their impermanent loss protection due to "hostile market conditions"

The defi insurance protocol Bancor announced on June 19 that they would be suspending their impermanent loss protection due to "hostile market conditions". The feature sought to protect users from "impermanent loss", a risk when a person provides liquidity to a pool, the ratio of deposited assets changes, and the person winds up with more of the token that's worth less.

Bancor wrote in their announcement that "Withdrawals performed during this unstable period will not be eligible for IL protection. Users who remain in the protocol will continue earning yields and be entitled to withdraw their fully-protected value when IL protection is reactivated." Many view this as Bancor holding their crypto hostage, because they would take a major loss if they withdrew while IL protection was paused.

The post goes on to say that "two large centralized entities" (likely Celsius and Three Arrows Capital) have rapidly liquidated their $BNT positions and withdrawn a large amount of liquidity; Bancor also wrote that another entity has opened a large short against $BNT.

Solend DAO passes proposal to take over the account of a large holder with a position that poses systemic risk

Solend DAO, the DAO behind the Solend lending protocol on Solana, just passed its first ever governance proposal. A whale used their platform to take out an enormous margin position, depositing 5.7 million Solana (currently worth $170 million) to withdraw $108 million in stablecoins. Their position represents 95% of all Solana deposits on the platform, and the position risks partial liquidation if Solana drops in price to $22.30.

The proposal allows Solend to temporarily take over the whale's account to liquidate the position "gracefully", rather than allowing the liquidation to happen as it normally would. This stems from the concern that the partial liquidation (20%, or around $21 million) would "cause chaos" on both Solend and the Solana blockchain more broadly. The proposal outlined concerns around Solend potentially ending up with bad debt, and liquidators "spamming the liquidate function" and potentially taking down the Solana chain.

The proposal elicited strongly negative reactions from many in the crypto community, who feel that a project taking over a user's account flies in the face of the concept of defi and sets a dangerous precedent. Others blame Solend for allowing the position in the first place, given the level of systemic risk. Some have also pointed out that Solend may be exposing themselves to legal risk by retroactively changing the terms of the loan.

The proposal succeeded hours after it was proposed, with one whale providing 1 million votes out of the 1.15 million votes in favor.

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