BlockFi Ups Interest Rates in Wake of Crypto Rout

Crypto lender BlockFi will increase interest rate payouts to their Interest Account customers starting April 1, they announced yesterday. The rates will increase to 6% APY (Annual Percentage Yield) for Tier 1 Bitcoin accounts, and 4.5% APY for Tier 1 Ethereum accounts. These are up from 4.9% and 3.2%, respectively.

BlockFi explained the move as a reflection of their strong fiduciary health, and wrote that “institutional lending markets have created opportunities that expand our margin.” BlockFi recently secured $1.55 million in funding from other crypto-focused firms, including ConsenSys Ventures.

The announcement has come amid one of the most eye-watering market sell-offs, not only in the history of cryptoasset markets, but even of traditional ones.

BlockFi touched on this elephant in the room in their announcement, emphasizing that their lending, trading, and withdrawal systems continued to function without a hitch despite their highest loads ever, and that “[they] did not liquidate USD loan client collateral below a price of ~$4,500, despite the market reaching lows of ~$3,800.”

One may speculate that, despite this stellar performance, BlockFi may be hurting for liquidity to bolster their books and are thus offering a high rate of return on Interest Accounts.

Whatever the case, things are likely to stay interesting in the crypto and traditional markets, and in all the industries connected to them, as unprecedented moves are made to bolster the global economy in the wake of COVID-19.

Featured image via Pixabay.

Bitcoin Investors Reportedly Lose Millions in South African Exit Scam

Michael LaVere
  • VaultAge Solutions CEO Willie Breedt is being accused of making off with millions in investor bitcoin.
  • Breedt allegedly fled the country for Mozambique and has not communicated with investors since December 2019. 

South African cryptocurrency investors are accusing the CEO of VaultAge Solutions of stealing millions in crypto before going on the run. 

According to a report by AllAfrica, Willie Breedt, the CEO of cryptocurrency investment firm VaultAge Solutions, is presumed to be on the run after not making public communications since December 2019. The report claims Breedt was speculated to be staying near the town of Jeffrey’s Bay and that his whereabouts where being looked into by the country’s criminal investigation unit. 

However, South Africans who invested cryptocurrency with the now-defunct firm fear the CEO may have fled the country for Mozambique. 

Breedt is accused of stealing millions from bitcoin investors. The report claims VaultAge Solutions is not registered as a legitimate financial institution with the Financial Services Conduct Authority (FSCA), despite having more than 2000 investors. 

The report quoted investor Lettie Engelbrecht from Krugersdrop, 

We are pensioners and invested R200 000. From December until April, we received payments on the growth of our investment. Since then, we never got any money. We are desperate and living on a shoestring budget.

One South African investor reportedly had deposited more than R6 million ($342,000) with Breedt’s company. 

Breedt delivered a written reply to local outlet News24, explaining, 

I am busy attending to the commitments I have made to members. The commitment is to have all the initial capital paid back by 31 May.

Colonel Katlego Mogale of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI) said authorities are investigating the case but cannot reveal any more information “at this stage.”

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