German crypto bank Nuri asks 500,000 users to withdraw funds before shutdown

German crypto bank Nuri has told its 500,000 users to withdraw funds from their accounts as the company prepares to shut down and liquidate the business, marking it as another victim of the 2022 bear market.

Nuri first reported liquidity issues in August, after announcing he had filed for insolvency amid the crypto winter economic strains. He said at the time that business would continue as usual as he worked on a restructuring plan and securing a takeover. However, an acquisition did not materialize.

In an October 18 blog post, Nuri CEO Kristina Mayer noted that despite the company’s best efforts, it is unable to sustain operations in the future.

Unlike bankrupt crypto lender Celsius, which locked down user withdrawals before everything went downhill, Nuri encourages users to withdraw all their assets before the December 18 deadline.

“Clients have access and will be able to withdraw all funds up to the above date. All assets in your Nuri account are safe and unaffected by Nuri’s insolvency. Trading will be possible until 11/30 /2022,” the message reads.

Mayer explained that “this year, the challenges have become insurmountable due to the difficult economic and political environment of the last few months, which has prevented us from raising new funds or finding a buyer”, and added:

“Furthermore, the insolvency of one of our major trading partners has significantly worsened the situation and brought us to the brink. As a result, Nuri had to file for temporary insolvency in August this year.

Although Mayer did not specifically name his insolvent business partner, Celsius appears to be the leading candidate as he had partnered with Nuri to offer Bitcoin Interest Accounts (BTC) to his clients. These accounts were discontinued when Celsius went into bankruptcy.

Mayer also noted that the company is still optimistic about the potential of blockchain-based financial services.

Related: Texas authorities oppose Voyager’s disclosure statement in its current form

“We always believe in innovative financial technology and are confident that blockchain, cryptocurrency and decentralized finance will provide opportunities that will add real value to people’s lives. Yet financial innovation must be safe, understandable, and easy to use for as many people as possible,” Mayer wrote.