First repercussions of the collapse of cryptocurrencies, a market that is in danger of collapsing and that is already putting some fintech on the ropes. German crypto bank Nuri filed for bankruptcy in Berlin, while in Italy the case of New Financial Technology (NFT) remains a mystery over which suspicions of a classic Ponzi-style scam are piling up.
In Germany, Nuri is the first German fintech to file for bankruptcy due to turmoil in the digital currency market. The company had, recalls the German newspaper Handelsblatt, some 500,000 clients and, as it stated, at the end of April it managed a total assets of some 500 million euros. Until the end, the fintech, originally founded in 2015 under the name of Bitwala, searched for new investors, but without success. The business model contemplated that cryptocurrencies could be lent through a Bitcoin account, a practice with which clients could receive returns of up to 3% per year. It was also possible to exchange cryptocurrencies. Nuri herself does not have a banking license, but has been collaborating with Solarisbank since 2018. The partnership has allowed Nuri to offer fully authorized bank accounts with debit cards as well. Two months ago, however, Nuri had been under pressure due to the bankruptcy of US partner Celsius Network. However, Nuri’s management assures that clients will now have no difficulties: all euro balances in bank accounts, cryptocurrencies in digital wallets and other investment goods and products remain accessible and usable.
According to reports from Handelsblatt, other fintechs are now interested in acquiring parts of Nuri. Nuri CEO Kristina Walcker-Mayer said: “We are confident that in the current business situation, insolvency proceedings provide the best basis for developing a long-term sustainable restructuring concept.” If the scenario really plays out in such a smooth and controlled way, Nuri would be an example of difficulty in the world of cryptocurrencies without consequences for customers.
In Italy, on the other hand, uncertainty for the more than 6,000 savers who are clients of a company from Silea (Treviso), New Financial Technology (Nft). The company would have collected payments of 10 thousand to 300 thousand euros for four years with the promise of monthly returns of 10-12% through investments in cryptocurrencies. The suspicion is that a Ponzi scheme has been set in motion instead. Currently, access to withdrawals from Nft accounts is blocked and at least two of the three founders would be unavailable. One of the shareholders, also consulted by the local newspapers, promised to return all the capital to the investors, pointing in turn at another shareholder of the company who “could not give exhaustive clarifications; for this reason -he concluded- I have decided to proceed with his dismissal».
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