Once valued at $1.5 billion, crypto payment provider Wyre will shutter by the end of January
Editor's Note: With so much market volatility, stay on top of daily news! Get caught up in minutes with our speedy summary of today's must-read news and expert opinions. Sign up here!
(Kitco News) - The ongoing crypto winter scythed crypto payments provider Wyre, which will reportedly be winding down its services by the end of January.
According to a report from Axios, Ioannis Giannaros, the CEO of Wyre, recently sent an email to employees of the company informing them that he would be liquidating the company and plans to terminate services this month.
“We'll continue to do everything we can, but I want everyone to brace themselves for the fact that we will need to unwind the business over the next couple of weeks,” the email said. "We’re still operating but will be scaling back to plan our next steps,” Ginnaros said in a follow-up email.
It appears as though some employees knew this development was coming. On Dec. 31, Michael Staib, a technical engineer who previously worked for Wyre said in a LinkedIn post that has since been deleted that “Wyre won’t continue as a profitable business.”
On Thursday, the popular crypto wallet MetaMask seemed to confirm the demise of Wyre when it announced that it has removed Wyre from its mobile aggregator, which allows users to buy crypto directly through their digital wallets.
“We’re currently working on extension removal and appreciate your patience,” MetaMask said, asking users not to use Wyre on the mobile aggregator.
Wyre was originally founded in 2013 by Ioannis Giannaros and Michael Dunworth and had raised a total of $29.1 million across nine funding rounds, data from Crunchbase shows. Some of its investors include Kraken, Pantera Capital, Stellar Development Foundation and Samsung NEXT and Draper Associates.
Last April, the one-click checkout provider Bolt was in talks to acquire Wyre for a price tag of $1.5 billion, but that deal was eventually terminated in September after Wyre and Bolt decided to remain independent businesses.
According to Dunworth, crypto market volatility and general market conditions in tech are the main reasons for the deal falling through.
There were plans for the two firms to enter into a commercial agreement where Bolt to implement Wyre’s one-click solution for the Bolt customer platform, but that looks unlikely now following these developments at Wyre.
Wyre is far from the only company that has been significantly impacted by the bear market of 2022. Aside from the collapses of Terra/Luna and FTX, which sent contagion shockwaves throughout the ecosystem, multiple other firms have filed for bankruptcy including Three Arrows Capital, Voyager Digital, Celsius, BlockFi and Core Scientific.
A host of other companies have also announced significant reductions in staff including Kraken, Huobi, Galaxy Digital, Coinbase, Digital Currency Group, Genesis Global Capital, Dapper Labs, Bybit, Crypto.com and Silvergate Bank.