U.S.-listed Eqonex latest crypto firm to seek court protection after cash crunch

Quick Take

  • Eqonex applies for judicial management protection under Singapore courts
  • Hong Kong-based units Diginex and Eqonex Capital are in the process of being put into voluntary liquidation

Nasdaq-listed Eqonex Group has filed for judicial management with the Singapore high court after failing to plug a short-term funding gap, the firm said in a statement to shareholders. 

The court filing was made under provisions for insolvency, restructuring and dissolution, the firm said in a separate U.S. regulatory statement. Eqonex had been in negotiations with potential investors to obtain equity financing through the issuance of new shares, and had also been negotiating with Bifinity to extend a loan provision. ''Unfortunately, despite the group’s best efforts, these negotiations have not been successful,'' the firm said. 

Eqonex's Hong Kong units, Diginex Ltd. and Eqonex Capital Pte. Ltd., are in the process of being placed into voluntary liquidation.

The group's Digivault Ltd. and Bletchley Park Asset Management were not involved in the insolvency proceedings. Digivault will commence a controlled voluntary wind-down with the view of finding an alternative solution, Eqonex said in the regulatory statement.

Eqonex was one of the first crypto exchange operators to publicly list, joining the stock market in 2020 via a SPAC deal with 8i Enterprises Acquisition Corp. The firm has struggled since, and last December replaced its CEO Richard Byworth and conducted a strategic review. The firm shut down its crypto exchange in September and said it would focus on asset management and custody.

Eqonex's troubles come amid a wider reckoning for the crypto industry. FTX, once the world's second-largest crypto exchange, filed for bankruptcy this month with billions of dollars missing from company accounts. Meanwhile, Genesis is struggling to raise cash for its lending unit, and has warned potential investors it could possibly file for bankruptcy, Bloomberg reported on Monday.

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