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Wintermute Considers Legal Action as NEAR Foundation Refuses Redemption of $11.2 Million USN Stablecoin

Ruholamin Haqshanas
Last updated: | 2 min read
Image Source: Wintermute

Crypto market maker Wintermute is considering legal action after the NEAR Foundation and Aurora allegedly failed to honor an agreement to convert $11.2 million worth of USN stablecoins.

In a recent post on X (formerly Twitter), Wintermute CEO Evgeny Gaevoy accused NEAR of retracting from its commitment to facilitate the sale of USN for the FTX estate.

According to Gaevoy, Wintermute had been working with FTX to liquidate assets for creditors, which included selling $11.2 million worth of USN stablecoin.

Gaevoy claimed that Wintermute executed the transaction based on an alleged agreement with the NEAR Foundation, assuring them that USN could be redeemed for Tether at a one-to-one ratio.

“This confidence was based on public statements by NF, Near introducing us to Aurora and Aurora confirming in private chats that they can facilitate the redemption, in our specific case, in a couple of days,” he wrote.

However, when Wintermute submitted the redemption request, NEAR allegedly refused to honor their commitments.

Gaevoy further stated that Wintermute had not received any USDT even after two and a half months.

NEAR Gives a 20% Repurchase Offer


In the post, Gaevoy revealed that Wintermute received a final offer from NEAR, which amounted to only 20% of the $11 million.

Expressing dissatisfaction, Gaevoy declared that Wintermute would explore all legal options against NEAR and Aurora, the organization responsible for asset transfers between the Ethereum network and the NEAR protocol.

USN was initially launched as an algorithmic stablecoin on April 25, 2022, by Decentral Bank, an independently operated community-run project with no direct financial support from the NEAR Foundation.

However, in October, the NEAR Foundation established a $40 million fund to facilitate conversions from USN to USDT after USN became undercollateralized.

“I’ll finish this thread with the last and public attempt at the resolution asking Near Foundation to complete the redemption,” Gaevoy said.

“However if NF continues to be unreasonable about this situation, we are fully committed to switching into a full-time adversarial mode.”

Wintermute Entangled in Lawsuit Against Celsius Network


Wintermute’s possible legal action against NEAR comes as the crypto market maker has also been entangled in a lawsuit against the bankrupt lending firm Celsius.

In a June complaint, plaintiffs in the class-action lawsuit against Celsius Network alleged that Wintermute helped the crypto lending firm in wash trading.

Celsius executives allegedly engaged in “improper market making” activities with the help of Wintermute from around March 2021 until June 2022, when the crypto lending firm froze withdrawals, per the lawsuit.

It is worth noting that Wintermute is one of the largest global crypto market makers.

As reported, the firm has paid its 36 British staff a total of $83 million in 2021, suggesting that the crypto company gave birth to 36 new millionaires.