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Prime Trust’s payments company Banq plunges into bankruptcy

Prime Trust's payments company Banq plunges into bankruptcy

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TL;DR

  • Banq, the payments subsidiary of Prime Trust, has filed for bankruptcy, listing $17.72 million in assets and $5.4 million of liabilities.
  • Banq alleges an unauthorized transfer of $17.5 million to Fortress NFT Group, leading to financial instability.
  • The bankruptcy filing arrives just days after BitGo’s intent to acquire Prime Trust, raising questions about the deal’s future.

Just as the acquisition of Prime Trust, the parent company of Banq, seemed to be proceeding with digital asset custodian BitGo, disaster struck. Banq, Prime Trust’s payments arm, has filed for bankruptcy protection.

This startling development took place on June 13, as verified by court documents, and it adds a dark cloud to the recently announced deal between Prime Trust and BitGo.

The precarious state of Banq’s finances

Banq, whose operations revolve around payment processing for cryptocurrency businesses, presented a balance sheet bearing $17.72 million in assets and $5.4 million in liabilities during its bankruptcy filing.

The financial debacle traces back to a supposed “unauthorized transfer” of $17.5 million to Fortress NFT Group. The fiasco was further complicated by the alleged illicit handover of trade secrets and proprietary information to the same company.

What’s particularly intriguing is that the brainchild of Fortress NFT Group was none other than the previous CEO, CTO, and CPO of Banq. As a result, an ongoing arbitration process has ensued, which might heavily influence Banq’s bankruptcy outcome.

This unsettling news comes on the heels of the letter of intent signed by BitGo to acquire Prime Trust. The timing certainly raises eyebrows as it brings into question how this bankruptcy event might impact the deal.

While the specifics of the deal have been kept under wraps, we do know that the acquisition would allow BitGo to expand its wealth management offerings and further consolidate its network of regulated trust companies.

Moreover, Prime Trust’s API infrastructure and exchange network would integrate seamlessly with BitGo services, propelling the company to a pioneering position in the digital asset industry.

An industry in flux: The crypto custody market

Recent shifts in the crypto custody market reflect a highly dynamic landscape. For instance, Ripple‘s $250 million acquisition of Swiss digital asset custody provider Metaco.

Notably, the proposed BitGo-Prime Trust deal is positioned at a critical juncture, just as the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission contemplates rule changes that could complicate the operations of crypto companies serving as custodians of customers’ funds.

The troubles for Prime Trust are not novel. The firm had to downsize its workforce by a third in January following financial pressure. It then served as the custodian for Binance.US customer funds during the banking crisis in March.

Moreover, in 2022, it was the center of a controversy over a dubious political donation in Oregon. Banq’s bankruptcy filing follows an uneasy timeline for its parent company, Prime Trust, and paints a grim picture for the future of both entities.

Banq’s startling revelation about the unauthorized transfer of a massive chunk of its assets to Fortress NFT Group, the ensuing legal battle, and the pending arbitration adds more layers of complexity to the overall narrative.

Even BitGo has had its share of turbulence, having narrowly missed being acquired by Galaxy Digital for a hefty $1.2 billion in 2022, only to later file a lawsuit against Galaxy for breach of acquisition agreement.

In conclusion, Banq’s bankruptcy and its ramifications could potentially ripple through the impending BitGo-Prime Trust deal. As the dust settles, the crypto industry awaits with bated breath to see how these developments might reshape the contours of the crypto custody market.

The keyword throughout this unfolding drama remains ‘Banq’, a name that’s likely to be echoed in many a headline as this story continues to evolve.

Disclaimer: The information provided is not trading advice. Cryptopolitan.com holds no liability for any investments made based on the information provided on this page. We strongly recommend independent research and/or consultation with a qualified professional before making any investment decision.

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Jai Hamid

Jai Hamid is a passionate writer with a keen interest in blockchain technology, the global economy, and literature. She dedicates most of her time to exploring the transformative potential of crypto and the dynamics of worldwide economic trends.

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