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Controlling The Chaos: Alameda Ventures Bails Out Voyager With $200M & 15K BTC

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Apparently, Voyager Digital is out of the woods. The company ran into liquidity issues when Three Arrows Capital failed to pay a huge loan to them. Welcome to another chapter of the crypto death spiral caused by the Terra/ Luna collapse. Who came to the rescue this time? Sam Bankman-Fried’s other company, Alameda Ventures. Is this man bailing out crypto or is he taking total control of the industry?

In a recent press release, Voyager Digital announced that it “entered into a definitive agreement with Alameda Ventures Ltd. related to the previously disclosed credit facility, which is intended to help Voyager meet customer liquidity needs during this dynamic period.” That’s one way of putting it. The company received “US$200 million cash and USDC revolver and a 15,000 BTC revolver.”

This morning, we announced a definitive agreement with Alameda Ventures for a $200 million dollar cash / USDC revolver and a 15,000 BTC revolver.

Read today’s release: https://t.co/8wPfzcaI6K

— Voyager (@investvoyager) June 22, 2022

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As a reminder, yesterday transpired that FTX, also owned by Bankman-Fried, bailed out BlockFi with $250M. At the time, we described the situation as follows:

“Over the last few weeks, the crypto market has been trending down. The contagion effect of the Terra/ Luna extinction event rocked every company out there, most of all those who offered yield on cryptocurrency deposits like BlockFi and Celsius and hedge funds like Three Arrows Capital. These companies’ problems and possible liquidation of assets, in turn, sent the crypto market into even more turmoil.”

The Voyager case fits right into that description.

Sam Bankman-Fried’s Loan To Voyager, The Conditions

The rumors were already flying. On June 16th, analyst Dylan LeClair tweeted “Speculation here, but in its quarterly report, Voyager had loaned $320m to a singapore based entity named “counterparty b”. One has to wonder whether “counterparty b” was 3AC and if so, how much of a hit Voyager took?” The answer came quicker than anyone thought. 

Speculation here, but in its quarterly report, Voyager had loaned $320m to a singapore based entity named “counterparty b”.

One has to wonder whether “counterparty b” was 3AC and if so, how much of a hit Voyager took? $VOYG shares are down 33% over the last two days… pic.twitter.com/sCiYskwLEq

— Dylan LeClair 🟠 (@DylanLeClair_) June 16, 2022

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In the press release, Voyager explained the loan:

“As previously disclosed, the proceeds of the credit facility are intended to be used to safeguard customer assets in light of current market volatility and only if such use is needed. In addition to this facility, as of June 20, 2022, Voyager has approximately US$152 million cash and owned crypto assets on hand, as well as approximately US$20 million of cash that is restricted for the purchase of USDC.”

The loan comes with “certain conditions,” among them:

  •  “No more than US$75 million may be drawn down over any rolling 30-day period.”
  • “The Company’s corporate debt must be limited to approximately 25 percent of customer assets on the platform, less US$500 million.” 
  • “Additional sources of funding must be secured within 12 months.” 

Voyager Digital price chart on OTC | Source: TradingView.com

It’s All About Three Arrows Capital Right Now

The press release confirms the rumors, the Singapore-based entity named “counterparty b” was 3AC. “Voyager concurrently announced that its operating subsidiary, Voyager Digital, LLC, may issue a notice of default to Three Arrows Capital (“3AC”) for failure to repay its loan.” In a recent article, our sister site Bitcoinist broke down the hedge fund’s situation:

“The crypto fund had been directly in the crosshairs of the Luna crash with exposure of more than $200 million and speculated to be as high as $450 million. At first, the firm had appeared to bounce back from the Luna collapse but it would be soon obvious that 3AC was in a more perilous position than investors thought.”

The Voyager situation makes it even more obvious. The company’s “exposure to 3AC consists of 15,250 BTC and $350 million USDC”. So, the Alameda loan covers most of it. What did they have to give in return, though? Formally, “Alameda currently indirectly holds 22,681,260 common shares of Voyager (“Common Shares”), representing approximately 11.56% of the outstanding Common and Variable Voting Shares”. If everything goes well, Voyager has nothing to worry about. However, what if it doesn’t?

Voyager levered 3AC up with 650million of their customers money, leaving them with only 150million cash reserves.

Who tf is in charge of risk over there, Merrill Lynch?

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— Tyler (@ApeDurden) June 22, 2022

In any case, for those that like gossip, here’s the story as narrated by Voyager:

“The Company made an initial request for a repayment of $25 million USDC by June 24, 2022, and subsequently requested repayment of the entire balance of USDC and BTC by June 27, 2022. Neither of these amounts has been repaid, and failure by 3AC to repay either requested amount by these specified dates will constitute an event of default. Voyager intends to pursue recovery from 3AC and is in discussions with the Company’s advisors regarding the legal remedies available.”

Answers And Conclusions

The crypto industry as a whole is in a precarious situation. And there’s one question at the center of it, is Sam Bankman-Fried controlling the chaos or is he taking total control of the industry?

Featured Image by Sebastian Herrmann on Unsplash  | Charts by TradingView

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Albania To Start Taxing Crypto-Related Income From 2023

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Albania To Start Taxing Crypto-Related Income From 2023

Authorities in Albania are finalizing regulations that will allow the taxation of income and profits from cryptocurrency investments. The government intends to begin imposing the levy in 2023, after adopting the necessary legislation which has been proposed for public consultations.

Albania Set to Impose Crypto Tax as Early as Next Year

The Albanian state should begin collecting taxes on income from crypto assets as of 2023 in accordance with a new income tax bill, the local English-language portal Exit News reported on Friday. The government also hopes to pass a number of other laws and bylaws this year in order to comprehensively regulate the matter.

The special tax legislation is currently open for public consultations. It introduces the concept of taxing crypto holdings and income derived from virtual assets. The latter have been defined as “a digital representation of a value that can be deposited, traded or transferred in digital form, and that can be used for payment or investment purposes or as a medium of exchange, including but not limited to cryptocurrencies.”

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However, the definition does not cover central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), the report notes. That’s despite a growing number of monetary authorities around the world developing a digital version of their national fiats. The list includes major powers such as the United States, the European Union, China, and the Russian Federation.

The Albanian law also defines cryptocurrency mining as an activity using computing power to confirm transactions and gain virtual assets in exchange. The extraction of cryptocurrencies has been a grey area although law enforcement has been going after illegal mining facilities in the country and pressed charges against some of their operators.

Under the new legislation, any income from crypto transactions or mining will be classified as corporate income when it’s received as a result of business activity. And when the beneficiaries are private individuals, they will have to pay capital gains tax of 15%.

Financial Watchdog Tasked to Expand Crypto Regulatory Framework

Earlier this month, the Albanian parliament ordered the Financial Supervisory Authority (AFSA) to prepare and adopt new regulations regarding cryptocurrencies by the end of 2022. Albanian law allows crypto trading platforms to legally work in the country but no licensed entities are currently operating in Albania, Exit News remarked.

Two years ago, Albania also adopted a law titled “Financial markets based on distributed ledger technology.” While many have welcomed the legislation, critics have questioned whether the small nation in South East Europe, still an EU hopeful, is capable of properly regulating its crypto sector to prevent it from being used for money laundering, something it’s struggling to achieve in the fiat space.

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The legislature referenced a recent report by the Council of Europe’s Committee of Experts on the Evaluation of Anti-Money Laundering Measures and the Financing of Terrorism (Moneyval), which recommended additional steps regarding the risks associated with cryptocurrency. In November 2021, the AFSA approved its first two regulations implementing the crypto markets law, which introduced capital and licensing requirements for entities working with digital assets.

Do you expect Albania to adopt comprehensive regulations for its crypto space by the end of the year? Tell us in the comments section below.

Lubomir Tassev

Lubomir Tassev is a journalist from tech-savvy Eastern Europe who likes Hitchens’s quote: “Being a writer is what I am, rather than what I do.” Besides crypto, blockchain and fintech, international politics and economics are two other sources of inspiration.

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Image Credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not a direct offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation or endorsement of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.

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NHL enters the NFT space partnering with Marketplace Sweet

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NHL enters the NFT space partnering with Marketplace Sweet Abdulrasaq Ariwoola · 42 seconds ago · 1 min read

The NHL partnership with Sweet will offer a variety of digital collectible experiences to its fans, tradable in the marketplace

1 min read

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Updated: June 25, 2022 at 3:59 am

Cover art/illustration via CryptoSlate

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The National Hockey League on Thursday announced its partnership with NFT Marketplace Sweet. This partnership will be the league’s first dive into digital collectibles.

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The partnership, of which the NHL’s players and Alumni’s association are part, will go live in October to mark the start of the 2022-2033 NHL season.

The NHL Marketplace

The NFT marketplace is expected to offer a range of experiences to NHL fans. Including digital collectibles that showcase historical moments, past and present season game highlights, and NHL stars top plays.

The marketplace will also feature gamified collection experiences, specialty packs, and 3D interactive trophy rooms where users can display their collections. Among these offerings there are also dynamic NFTs designed to change based on current team data.

Additionally, fans would be able to buy, sell, collect and trade the collectibles on the marketplace.

However, the announcement did not state which blockchain would host the marketplace.

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NFTs in the sporting space

The NHL  joins a long list of sporting institutions that have embraced digital collectibles.

In 2020, the NBA launched Top Shot NFTs, its digital collectibles marketplace, in partnership with DapperLabs. Likewise, the NFL launched its play and own NFT game while the MLB is to launch its NFT game soon.

However, the extreme sell-off in the crypto market has seen crypto companies pull out of sports deals. This is so as crypto companies strive to stay afloat as the severe sell-off continues in the market.

FTX recently pulled out of a partnership deal with Los Angeles Angels. Similarly, sources suggest a patch deal between NBA Washington Wizards and a crypto company has crashed.

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What Lido staking dominance may mean for Ethereum’s future

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What Lido staking dominance may mean for Ethereum’s future Abdulrasaq Ariwoola · 2 hours ago · 2 min read

The Ethereum community has raised fears of lido staking dominance leading to centralization. What does that mean for ETH 2.0?

2 min read

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Updated: June 25, 2022 at 3:33 am

Cover art/illustration via CryptoSlate

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Lido DAO token holders have commenced voting to determine whether the DeFi platform should reduce its staking pool. The vote is a follow-up to a governance proposal released on June 24.

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The voting process results from a month-long deliberation over Lido’s staking dominance and whether it should limit itself to curb potential centralization risks.

Lido currently holds 31% of all staked Ether on the Ethereum proof-of-stake blockchain, the Beacon chain. The staking dominance has raised fears within the Ethereum community, and critics fear it will threaten Ethereum’s decentralization.

The vote is expected to end on July 1, and the result will determine whether Lido will self-limit or not. Should the majority of voters vote in favor, another vote will take place on how the self-limiting process should work.

Concerns over stETH dominance

In the governance proposal, Lido stated that its staking dominance would give it more voting power once the Beacon chain goes live. As a platform that started to counter centralized exchanges, it argued that such centralized voting power poses an existential threat to the blockchain.

The Ethereum community has raised similar fears about the centralization of voting powers. The DeFi platform currently has around one-third of all staked Ether, which could give voting leverage once the transition to the Beacon chain is complete.

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Vitalik Buterin, the Ethereum co-founder, has argued that no single protocol should have a majority in staking ETH. He opined that such dominance, combined with Lido’s governance structure, is potentially a dangerous point of centralization.

Further, it stated the proposition is premised on the belief that other liquid staking protocols would also limit their exposure. This would effectively allow smaller protocols to meet the supply shortfall.

What Lido staking dominance means for ETH2.0

Ethereum’s transition to a PoS blockchain means it will rely on validators to validate transactions on the blockchain. Unlike a PoW blockchain that requires miners to expend excess energy to solve complex mathematical problems.

However, to operate a validator node, a user must deposit 32 ETH, which is a long shot for many users. Lido, on the other hand, as a staking service provider, allows users to bypass this requirement and earn staking rewards.

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According to data from Etherscan, roughly 12.6 million ETH is staked in the ETH2.0, which amounts to 10.6% of the circulating supply of ETH. Of the 12.6 million ETH staked, approximately 4.2 million have been staked through Lido by 73,369 stakers, making Lido the most used staking pool on Ethereum.

This means, should Ethereum transition to its PoS blockchain with Lido still having the lion’s share of the staking dominance, it would give the DeFi platform excessive influence over transaction verification which many warn could pose a risk. Some concerns include validator slashing, governance attacks, and smart contract exploits.

On the other hand, Lido’s staking dominance could help prevent a takeover by a centralized exchange and ensure the blockchain remains decentralized.

stETH remains depegged

The staked Ether, which is supposed to be pegged to ETH, remains depegged after a wave of massive sell-offs. Speculations have profused about the security of the token and whether its depegging could spell more chaos for the crypto ecosystem.

On June 16, Alameda Capital, one of the largest holders of stETH, dumped its stETH holdings, a massive $57 million. This is coupled with the continued financial troubles of Celsius and Three Arrows Capital, both large holders of stETH.

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As of the time of press, stETH has not gained parity with ETH and is trading at $1,173.

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