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Silvergate Capitala central lender to the crypto industry, said on Wednesday that it winds down operations and liquidates its bank. The stock fell more than 36% in after-hours trading.
Silvergate has served as one of the two main banks for crypto companies, along with the New York-based Signature Bank. Silvergate has just over $11 billion in assets, compared to over $114 billion at Signature. Bankrupt crypto exchange FTX was a major Silvergate customer.
“In light of recent industry and regulatory developments, Silvergate believes that an orderly winding down of the bank’s operations and a voluntary liquidation of the bank is the best way forward,” the company said in a statement.
All deposits will be refunded in full, according to a liquidation plan shared on Wednesday. The company did not say how it plans to resolve claims against its business.
Centerview Partners will act as Silvergate’s financial advisor and Cravath, Swaine & Moore will provide legal services.
The liquidation comes less than a week after Silvergate discontinued its payments platform known as the Silvergate Exchange Network, or SEN, which was considered one of its core offerings. As part of the liquidation announcement, Silvergate clarified that all other deposit-related services will remain in operation when the company is liquidated. Customers will be notified if there are any further changes.
Silvergate said last week it would delay the application of its 2022 annual 10-K as it ironed out the “vitality” of its business. The company disclosed that the delayed filing was due in part to an impending regulatory crackdown, including an investigation already underway by the Justice Department.
Silvergate also attributed the delay to congressional inquiries, as well as investigations by its banking regulators, which include the Federal Reserve and the California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation.
Crypto companies like Coin base and Galaxy Digital raced to cut ties with Silvergate last week after the bank warned it was unsure whether it could continue in business.
Silvergate has been struggling for months. In addition lay off 40% of its workforce in January, the company reported a net loss of nearly $1 billion in the fourth quarter following a rush for exits late last year that saw deposits from customers plummeted 68% to $3.8 billion. To cover the sockets, Silvergate had to sell $5.2 billion in bonds.
The company went to Federal Home Loan Bank for an additional $4.3 billion. That loan drew attention from lawmakers like Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., who said this “introduced additional crypto market risk into the traditional banking system.”
Investment firms Citadel Securities and BlackRock recently took large stakes in Silvergate and bought up 5.5% and 7%respective.
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