Australian NGS Crypto mining fund collapses

NGS Crypto, which sold "crypto mining packages" to interested investors, has been put into receivership. The Australian firm encouraged customers to set up a self-managed super fund — a type of retirement fund — to achieve returns they said were powered by crypto mining. The firms advertised returns of up to 16% annually, and promised that investors would receive 100% of their initial investment back at the term's completion — even "in the unlikely event that crypto mining becomes unprofitable".

NGS and its associated business is believed to have pulled in around AU$62 million (US$42 million) from around 450 Australians.

Australian DCA Fund collapses with up to $65 million owed to creditors

Liquidators have been appointed for three cryptocurrency companies owned by Ash Balanian. DCA Capital, Digital Commodity Assets, and the Digital Commodity Assets Fund have all entered liquidation after investors raised red flags about the fund's management and licensure.

So far, losses are estimated to affect around 100 investors, who have up to AU$100 million (US$65 million) in claims.

Balanian had boasted of his career experience as a former NASA mission planner, and targeted his fund to wealthy investors with a minimum initial deposit of AU$50,000 (~US$33,000).

Bored Ape-themed fast food restaurant shuts down

It's hard to believe that the hamburger joint themed around the owner's Bored Ape NFT failed to take off. Although there was novelty value in the themed restaurant, which for a time boasted that it accepted cryptocurrency payments, the excitement seemed to wear off quickly after a few early news articles. After a while, the restaurant's crypto payments became spotty, with employees saying the system was unwieldy and unpopular among customers.

Some more recent Yelp reviews described fairly mediocre food, which "[t]he NFTs don't make up for".

The restaurant opened in April 2022, a month after owner Andy Nguyen purchased Bored Ape #6184 for $268,000, along with three Mutant Apes for an additional combined $187,000. #6184 became the restaurant's logo, and the others were incorporated into the restaurant's branding. The NFTs haven't been resold since, although it's unlikely they could recoup close to their original purchase prices — Bored Apes have been averaging a little under $50,000 in recent sales, and Mutants around $8,500 each.

Crypto exchange created by Three Arrows Capital founders to shut down

Who can believe this. OPNX, the crypto derivatives exchange created by the people who ran and then blew up the Three Arrows Capital hedge fund, will be shutting down. The exchange was originally announced in January 2023, with a tentative name of "GTX" — "because G comes after F", they said. It was created as an evolution of the CoinFLEX exchange, which had become insolvent and halted withdrawals in June 2022. Much of the exchange's focus was on allowing creditors of bankrupt cryptocurrency projects to trade their claims — including claims on Three Arrows Capital.

Now, as Su Zhu emerges from several months in jail, he, Kyle Davies, and the other executives of OPNX are shutting down the project. Traders have a week to settle their positions, and another week before the platform closes entirely.

Both Zhu and Davies are, of course, trying to promote a new crypto derivatives trading project.

Terraform Labs files for bankruptcy

Terraform Labs, the company behind the Terra blockchain, has filed for bankruptcy. Its flagship product, the Terra stablecoin and associated LUNA token, failed spectacularly in May 2022. Its CEO, Do Kwon, was arrested in March 2023, and remains in custody awaiting a decision on whether he will be extradited to the United States or South Korea — both of which are looking to charge him over his role in the scheme.

Despite all of that, Terraform Labs had continued to operate. However, it is now in dire financial straits, and has now filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in an attempt to sort out its financial obligations amid costly legal cases. Terraform Labs is currently a defendant in a complaint by the SEC, as well as several class-action lawsuits.

According to the company's bankruptcy filing, it has between $100 million and $500 million in assets, and liabilities in the same range.

Qredo dumps CEO, raises emergency financing after burning through funding

Despite raising $80 million in February 2022 in a Series A round that saw the company valued at $460 million, the Qredo crypto custody platform just had to secure debt financing to keep the company afloat. Its lead investor also pushed to oust the company's CEO and COO, and shake up the board.

Qredo had already been forced to perform layoffs in September and then November, and in November was searching for a rescue after saying their user "activity ha[d] fallen" in the "prolonged cryptowinter".

On December 15, Qredo had also announced that they would be shutting down their Ankex trading platform, which was previously led by Michael Moro, who was previously booted as CEO from Genesis Trading.

SafeMoon files for bankruptcy

The company behind the SafeMoon cryptocurrency scam has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Screenshots circulated on Twitter of a letter to employees citing "a number of operational and financial challenges", likely referring to — oh, I don't know — maybe the whole criminal indictment against SafeMoon's founders and executives and simultaneous civil lawsuit from the SEC.

Although SafeMoon claimed to have created a token that would "safely go to the moon", executives allegedly siphoned millions of dollars of investor funds to spend on personal expenses including luxury cars and real estate.

In the bankruptcy filing, SafeMoon has claimed to have 50–99 creditors, between $10 and $50 million in estimated assets, and $100,000 to $500,000 in estimated liabilities.

Crypto media outlet Forkast goes bust

The crypto media website Forkast has stopped publishing and laid off most of its editorial staff. The last post on the site is from November 22.

After raising $1.7 million in seed funding in 2021, the site seems to have run out of runway. It merged with the CryptoSlam data aggregator in January 2023, but that apparently didn't help it sustain operations. The company appears to be trying to rebrand as "Forkast Labs", and is offering crypto data feeds.

Bittrex finally closes up for good

After paying a then-record $29 million fine for sanctions violations in October 2022, shutting down US operations in March 2023, filing for bankruptcy in May, and paying $24 million to settle a lawsuit from the US SEC in August, Bittrex is finally throwing in the towel. The company announced that it was closing its global operations, and urged customers to withdraw funds stored with the exchange within only two weeks. The also informed customers who held US dollars on the exchange that they would not be allowed to withdraw, and would have to convert their dollars to Euros or cryptocurrency.

Bittrex used to be a major player in the US cryptocurrency market, with over 20% of US market share in 2018. However, the exchange's dominance had dwindled to below 1% as of 2021.

Aqua web3 gaming marketplace shuts down

It's not that blockchain gaming was a flop, they were "just too early" (said CEO Sean Ryan). The Aqua gaming NFT marketplace announced their shutdown, attributing it to "challenges in raising funds and the slower-than-expected growth within the web3 gaming sector". Users were instructed to transfer their funds off the platform by December 1.

The company launched its marketplace in September 2022, backed by $10 million from the DIGITAL venture fund.

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