Jul 1, 2022 - Economy

FTX signs deal that could buy BlockFi for up to $240 million

Illustration of a pitchfork spearing a digital coin with pieces falling away

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Troubled crypto lender BlockFi said Friday that it agreed to an option to be acquired by FTX for up to $240 million.

What to know: The acquisition figure would include performance incentives, and BlockFi didn't specify how much would be an upfront payment.

  • CNBC on Thursday reported the base price could be as low as $25 million, compared to the $2.1 billion that BlockFi has raised in venture capital funding.
  • The deal with FTX also includes a $400 million revolving credit facility from the crypto exchange operator from FTX.

What they're saying: BlockFi CEO Zac Prince tweeted: "Outside of this transaction, we realize that there is a lot of fear, uncertainty, and doubt in the crypto markets. From our vantage point, we continue to see a healthy ecosystem on the rise."

He also wrote the following, including reference to the liquidating Three Arrows Capital hedge fund that had received loans from BlockFi:

"Crypto market volatility, particularly market events related to Celsius and 3AC, had a negative impact on BlockFi. The Celsius news on June 12th started an uptick in client withdrawals from BlockFi’s platform despite us having no exposure to them. 
In the same week, 3AC news spread further fear in the market. While we were one of the first to fully accelerate our overcollateralized loan to 3AC, as well as liquidate and hedge all collateral, we did experience ~$80M in losses, which is a small fraction of losses publicly reported by other lenders. 
This represents the full extent of the impact to BlockFi from 3AC. We have no further exposure and the limited losses we did experience will be absorbed by BlockFi with no impact to client funds. Our 3AC losses will be part of 3AC’s ongoing bankruptcy case(s) so more info will surely come out as those cases proceed."

Go deeper: BlockFi investors could get wiped out

Editor's note: This story was updated with additional details.

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