THE YEAR OF TWIST AND TURN IN THE WORLD OF CRYPTOCURRENCY; 2K22
The just concluded 2022 would have being a better year to crypto firms and forex organizations if the bear market didn't set in at all.
While many did believe everything will play out perfectly well in 2022 after experiencing the global effect of the COVID-19 pandemic, the crypto space had a different plan!
The fall from glory that was experienced 2022 caused anxietude which resulted in many big game players crashing out.
In this regard, a compilation of seven(7) biggest crypto collapses of 2022 is made.
They're as follows:
AXIE INFINITY’S RONIN BRIGDE
In March 2022, the blockchain network that runs the popular nonfungible token(NFT) crypto game Axie Infinity, was hacked for $625million. The hacker took 173,600 Ether and 25.5million USDC from the Ronin bridge in two transactions.
According to the Ronin Group, Axie Infinity's issues began in November 2021, when it user base had expanded to indefensible size.
Consequently, the Corporation's safety rules had to be relaxed to fulfill client demand. After the initiatial phase of fast development was completed, the firm reduced its safety procedures.
According to research, the Bridge hacks has accounted for 213 of the $3billion that has been stolen from DeFi.
The main difficulty was a lack of a suitably decentralized network created by game developer Sky Mavis. The hacker acquired access to the private keys of five Sky Mavis' Ronin Chain's nine validator nodes, enabling them to prejudice the network. When the hackers gain control of five nodes, they essentially controlled over half of the network and were free to accept or deny whatever transactions they wanted. They obtained ETH and USDC through falsifying withdrawals.
The crime occured on March 23rd, 2022, but it was only noticed on March 29th, 2022 when a user reported being unable to withdraw 5,000ETH from the Ronin Bridge ATM. In the aftermath of the attack, Axie Infinity developers raised $150million to reimburse the affected users.
TERRA USD/LUNA COLLAPSE
On the 7th of May, 2022, over $2billion in Terra USD(UST) was unstacked from the Anchor Protocol and hundreds of millions of United States dollars were quickly liquidated.
Though it's unclear if this was a deliberate attack on the Terra blockchain or a response to rising interest rates. Because of the enormous outflow of cash, the price of UST fell from $1 to $0.91. As a result, market players began trading $0.90 in UST for $1 in LUNA.
When a considerable amount of UST was moved out, the stablecoin depegged. The availability of LUNA increased as more people sold their UST during the painc.
THREE ARROWS CAPITAL COLLAPSE
When Terra collapsed, the crypto hedge fund Three Arrows Capital(3AC), which had a peak market valuation of more than $560million, suffered significantly.
3AC had invested heavily in several troubled cryptocurrency projects, including the play-to-earn game Axie Infinity, which lost $625million to a North Korean hack in 2022, and the centralized cryptocurrency exchange BlockFi, which laid off hundreds of employees in mid June.
The UST collapse shattered investor confidence and expedited the slide of cryptocurrencies, which was already underway as part of a bigger flight from risk. A flood of margin calls from 3AC's leaders sought repayment, but the firm lacked the funds to meet the requests. In addition,many of the company's counterparties could not meet their investor's expectations,many of whom were retail investors promised 20% annual returns.
The crypto hedge fund eventually collapsed after taking on major directional trades and borrowing from over 20 institutions,and the founders defaulted on its payments.
Because the founders would not appear in court, the lawsuit proceeded without them. In a leaked court filed with the Singapore High Court,the Singapore government was asked to accept liquidation proceedings and work with liquidators.
As liquidators try to wind down the failed crypto business of Three Arrows Capital, US bankruptcy Judge Martin Glenn has issued a writ to the company's founders.
CELSIUS CRASH AND LIQUIDITY CRISIS
Celsius' value plummeted on July 13, 2022, when one of the main crypto businesses, Celsius Network,declared bankruptcy. As the price of cryptocurrencies fell,investors on the Clesius network started withdrawing their Bitcoin holdings in search of safer alternatives.
Consequently, panicked investors left Celsius in volume. Despite stating they were compelled to do so die to "extreme market conditions," Celsius Network stopped BTC withdrawals, swaps and transfers on June 12, 2022. Users of the site understandably thought Celsius had declared bankruptcy a d would be unable to refund their money. The value of the Celsius cryptocurrency plummeted by 70% in only a few hours and fell further in the days that followed.
In response to the fall in the crypto market due to insecurities and falling prices of many major cryptocurrencies and escalating cash flow issues, Celsius announced 23% layoffs on July 3, 2022. When the time came, the company filed for bankruptcy on July 13, 2022.
Celsius had total liabilities of $6.6billion, assets of $3.8billion, resulting in a $1.2billlion hole in the company's balance sheet due to the court ruling.
VOYAGER DIGITAL'S FALL
On the 6th if July, 2022, prominent cryptocurrency investment firm Voyager Digital filed for bankruptcy after crypto hedge fund 3AC defaulted on a $560million loan. 3AC received a significant loan from Voyager Digital with no security. When 3AC defaulted on all of its obligations and its owner left, Voyager lost a significant sum of customers' money.
Trading, withdrawals and deposits were all suspended when Voyager reported that 3AC would not repay its loan. In June, Sam Bankman-Fried, billionaire CEO of trading firms .FXT and Alameda Research, presented Voyager with $500million line of credit to help them weather the market collapse.
On July 5, 2022, Voyager Digital Holdings filed for bankruptcy in the Southern District of New York. According to Voyager Digital, the corporation owes between $1billion and $10billion to its more than 100,000 debtors.
Despite its debt, however, the company believes it has assets worth between $1billion and $10billion. They also guarantee that adequate money is available to pay off the company's unsecured creditors.
In a September court filing, insolvent cryptocurrency broker Voyager Digital revealed that it would auction off its remaining assets.
FTX and its US equivalent, FTX.US, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy( the form of bankruptcy that involves a reorganization of a debtor's business affairs, debts, and assets) on November 11, 2022.
The exchanges collapsed due to a lack of liquidity and money mismanagement, resulting in a large number of withdrawals from fearful investors.
Following the announcement of bankruptcy, FTX US briefly restricted withdrawals on November 11, 2022, despite earlier promises that FTX.US would be unaffected by FTX's liquidity concerns.
In the evening of November 11, 2022, an alleged hack took more than $600million from FTX wallets. The assault was revealed by FTX in its assistance channel on the instant messaging network Telegram.
According to some Twitter users, hackers were also attempting to get access to FTX-linked bank accounts. Plaid, a company that connects consumer bank account with financial applications, responded to "concerning public reports" by denying FTX access to their products, claiming that they had no proof that their tools had been used unlawfully.
Bankman-Fried was arrested in the Bahamas on December 12, 2022 at the request of the US government, which wanted him extradited for eight(8) criminal offenses, including wire fraud and conspiracy to defraud investors. Bankman-Fried was eventually deported to the United States and is awaiting trial after posting a $250million ball.
The collapse of FTX earlier in the month generated fear and uncertainty across the market. BlockFi, another cryptocurrency exchange, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on November 28, 2022. With assets and liabilities ranging from $1billion to $10billion, the firm had over 100,000 creditors. In addition, they had a $275,000,000 debt to Sam Bankman-Fried's American subsidiary, FXT US. The application shows that the largest client has a balance of $28million.
Following the demise of Three Arrows Capital, multiple firms, including the crypto company that operates a trading exchange and an interest-bearing custodial service for cryptocurrencies, had serious liquidity issues.
And while 2022 may have been a tough year for the crypto market, there may be a silver lining. Investor sentiment seems to be improving, and the crypto market has been on a recovering process from previous bear markets and platform collapses. The event of 2022 could pave way for new platforms to learn from the mistakes of their predecessors.