In a landmark decision that has sent ripples through the cryptocurrency community, BlockFi, previously hailed as a leading figure in the crypto lending arena, has secured the much-anticipated approval from a United States Bankruptcy Court in New Jersey for its proposed liquidation plan.
This pivotal approval not only underscores the challenges faced by crypto enterprises but also brings a ray of hope for the platform’s extensive creditor base. These individuals and institutions, having been mired in uncertainty for some time, are now on the cusp of potentially reclaiming their investments.
A timeline of BlockFi’s bankruptcy proceedings
BlockFi’s journey through the bankruptcy process has been a tumultuous one. The platform filed its initial liquidation plan with the bankruptcy court on November 28. However, due to various complications and requirements, the company had to submit three amended plans on May 12, June 28, and July 31, as indicated by court records.
The recent approval came for BlockFi’s third amended Chapter 11 plan, which was greenlit by Bankruptcy Judge Michael A. Kaplan during a court hearing on September 26. The official documentation confirming this decision was filed on the same day.
However, the amount that BlockFi’s unsecured creditors will receive hinges significantly on the outcome of BlockFi’s ongoing legal tussle with FTX and several other bankrupt cryptocurrency entities. The relationship between BlockFi and FTX has been a point of contention throughout the bankruptcy proceedings. BlockFi has attributed its financial downfall to the collapse of FTX. In contrast, the creditor’s committee has raised concerns about the nature of BlockFi’s association with FTX and its former CEO, Sam Bankman-Fried.
Settlements and financial implications
One of the major breakthroughs in this case was the resolution of a prolonged dispute between BlockFi and its creditors’ committee concerning the company’s top-tier management. A court filing from September 25 reveals that the BlockFi creditors’ committee recognized the benefits of the settlement. They noted that this agreement likely minimized further administrative costs and expenses, which could have otherwise reduced the potential recoveries for the creditors.
Estimations indicate that BlockFi is in debt of up to $10 billion, owed to more than 100,000 creditors. This staggering amount includes $1 billion due to its three most significant creditors and also an additional $220 million owed to the now-bankrupt crypto hedge fund, Three Arrows Capital. As digital asset lender company navigates these complex legal waters, it is being represented by two renowned law firms: Kirkland & Ellis LLP and Haynes and Boone LLP.
The approval of BlockFi’s liquidation plan marks a crucial step forward for the platform’s numerous creditors, bringing them closer to potential repayment. While the exact amount of repayment remains uncertain and is contingent on various legal outcomes, this development offers a beacon of hope for those affected. As the cryptocurrency industry continues to evolve and face challenges, the Blockfi case serves as a reminder of the importance of regulatory clarity and sound financial practices.