Wyre To Shut Down As Crypto Winter Claims Another Casualty

Wyre To Shut Down As Crypto Winter Claims Another Casualty

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San Francisco-based crypto payments firm Wyre has announced that it has begun the process of winding down its operations. It also noted that interested parties could begin inquiries about purchasing the firm’s assets. 

The firm cited challenges arising from the prolonged bear market and not due to the regulatory conditions prevailing in the US markets. 

Bear Market Claims Another Victim 

Wyre announced its decision to shutter operations in a tweet on Friday. The decision comes a few months after Bolt Financial canceled its planned $1.5 billion purchase of the crypto payments firm. Since the cancellation of the purchase, the digital asset markets have seen a number of high-profile bankruptcies, such as FTX, along with lawsuits against prominent exchanges, including Coinbase and Binance, from The United States Securities and Exchange Commission. The company also stressed that the decision was not due to any direction from regulatory agencies. 

“After nearly a decade, Wyre is winding down. Due to market conditions, we made this decision to protect the best interest of our key stakeholders and customers. This decision is not due to any regulatory agency direction. Wyre continues to secure customer assets.”

Wyre also stated that customers have until Friday, 14th July 2023, to withdraw their assets via the Wyre dashboard. If customers miss this date, Wyre has laid down a separate process to enable the recovery of assets left on the platform. According to Wyre’s blog post, 

“Wyre continues to secure customer assets. If you have assets on the Wyre platform, you can continue to withdraw them via Wyre’s dashboard until Friday, 14th July. After then, we will have a separate process to recover assets remaining on the platform. We will post details on the process on our website and blog.”

The Wyre team also seemed to suggest that the company’s assets were up for sale and that interested parties could inquire about purchasing the firm or its assets. 

“If you’re interested in acquiring Wyre’s or its subsidiaries’ assets, please reach out to 88 Partners.” 

Wyre’s Troubled Year 

Wyre has been in the doldrums since Bolt Financial decided to cancel its planned purchase of the company for $1.5 billion in September 2022. A few months after the failed acquisition, more trouble began for the company as its fiat-to-crypto on-ramp solution provider Juno urged users to withdraw their crypto assets from the Juno platform and self custody them. Given the uncertainty surrounding its custodial partner, Wyre, Juno stated that such a step was necessary. 

“Juno as a platform doesn’t custody crypto assets & relies on our crypto partner for these services. Due to uncertainty with our crypto partner, we have taken preemptive action in the interest of our customers.”

The very next day, MetaMask also announced that it was ending support of the Wyre platform, citing several reports that the company was planning to shut down. MetaMask announced the news on its official Twitter handle, asking users not to use the Wyre service on the mobile aggregator. 

False Dawn 

A few days after MetaMask shuttered support for Wyre, the company announced the imposition of a 90% withdrawal limit for all its users. However, this limit was quickly removed following an announcement that Wyre had secured funding from an unnamed strategic partner. However, despite securing funding, Wyre still let go of 75 employees in January 2023. The announcement to mark the firm shutting down operations marks the end of Wyre after the company had explored several strategic options in a bid to stay afloat. The company had stated in January, 

“We sincerely appreciate the support and positive sentiments from our community as well as the crypto ecosystem at large as we pursue options that will enable Wyre to flourish. Our operations continue, and we will share information with the community as it is available.”

A Growing List Of Bear Market Casualties 

Wyre is the latest in a growing list of crypto companies and blockchain firms that have buckled under the pressure of an unending bear market. Just in May alone, several firms, including Lightning Network payments platform BottlePay, NFT platform Terressa, crypto exchange HotBit, and Digital Currency Group’s institutional trading platform TradeBlock, all shuttered operations thanks to the prolonged crypto winter. 

EmpireDAO also ended its tenancy at 190 Bowery in New York, giving further evidence of a market downturn. The crypto-exclusive co-working space was founded by Mike Fraietta, with its office building often touted as the WeWork of Web3. Fraietta stated at the time, 

“We tried every which way to get new sponsors, partnerships, and even crowdfunding. But we needed more help to sustain at 190 Bowery.”

Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

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