Digital Asset Risk

The trading prices of many digital assets, including digital assets interoperable with the Term Finance Protocol, have experienced extreme volatility in recent periods and may continue to do so. Extreme volatility in the future, including further declines in the trading prices of digital assets pose a significant risk of loss from using the Protocol to engage in digital asset transactions.

Beginning in the fourth quarter of 2021 and continuing throughout 2022, digital asset prices began falling precipitously. This has led to volatility and disruption in the digital asset markets and financial difficulties for several prominent industry participants, including digital asset exchanges, hedge funds and lending platforms. For example, in the first half of 2022, digital asset lenders Celsius Network LLC and Voyager Digital Ltd. and digital asset hedge fund Three Arrows Capital each declared bankruptcy. This resulted in a loss of confidence in participants in the digital asset ecosystem, negative publicity surrounding digital assets more broadly and market-wide declines in digital asset trading prices and liquidity.

Thereafter, in November 2022, FTX, the third largest Digital Asset Exchange by volume at the time, halted customer withdrawals amid rumors of the company’s liquidity issues and likely insolvency. Shortly thereafter, FTX’s CEO resigned and FTX and several affiliates of FTX filed for bankruptcy. The U.S. Department of Justice subsequently brought criminal charges, including charges of fraud, violations of federal securities laws, money laundering, and campaign finance offenses, against FTX’s former CEO and others. FTX is also under investigation by the SEC, the Justice Department, and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, as well as by various regulatory authorities in the Bahamas, Europe and other jurisdictions. In response to these events, the digital asset markets have experienced extreme price volatility and declines in liquidity, and regulatory and enforcement scrutiny has increased, including from the DOJ, the SEC, the CFTC, the White House and Congress. In addition, several other entities in the digital asset industry filed for bankruptcy following FTX’s bankruptcy filing, such as BlockFi Inc. and Genesis Global Capital, LLC, a subsidiary of Genesis Holdco, LLC (“Genesis Holdco”). The SEC also brought charges against Genesis Global Capital, LLC and Gemini Trust Company, LLC on January 12, 2023 for their alleged unregistered offer and sale of securities to retail investors.

Continued disruption and instability in the digital asset markets as these events develop, including further declines in the trading prices and liquidity of digital assets pose a significant risk of loss from utilizing the Protocol to participate in transactions involving digital assets.

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