Crypto Payments Firm Wyre Shuts Down After Uncertain Months


Following a period of instability, the cryptocurrency payments company, Wyre, will be shutting down and will commence the sale of its assets

Citing market conditions, the firm announced on Friday that it would wind down its operations in the coming weeks. After ten years in the space, Wyre has advised its customers to withdraw their assets via its online dashboard by July 14. 

Wyre Bows Out

Since its launch in 2013, Wyre has developed a blockchain-based payments platform that integrates a range of multi-currency solutions. It supported both fiat and crypto transactions and was designed to empower cross-border businesses with modern, frictionless payment flows.

Rumors that the company was in trouble first appeared at the beginning of the year. 

First, the larger payment service provider, Bolt, backed out of a takeover deal in September 2022. After an acquisition price as high as 1.5 billion USD were floated, Bolt never closed the deal, and Wyre was left without a buyer.

Soon after, Wyre’s founder Michael Dunworth stepped down as CEO and cashed out his 12.5% stake in the firm.

Then, in January, it was reported that employees had been told over the holidays that Wyre would liquidate and terminate its offerings. Amid tough competition from rival firms and a bear market that dampened appetite for crypto services, Wyre went from nearly commanding a 1.5 billion dollar price tag to struggling to keep afloat.

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Yet there was still another twist in the saga. Not long after word got out that Wyre was preparing to exit the market, the company revealed that it had secured a funding lifeline .

But unfortunately for Wyre, the additional injection of capital wasn’t enough to keep its problems at bay. Five months on, the firm has announced its plans to shut down indefinitely. As it said in a post on its website, the move is intended “to protect the best interest of our key stakeholders and customers..”

Buyers Sought for Wyre Assets

Going forward, the next step for Wyre will include liquidating its assets to claw back funds for investors. According to Crunchbase, since 2013, the firm has raised nearly 30 million USD across nine funding rounds.

Although the business flopped, Wyre has made major investments over the years. And as the company prepares to exit the market for good, its previous acquisitions are now up for sale.

In Friday’s statement , Wyre directed potential buyers to 88partners, an advisory that helps struggling crypto and FinTech firms monetize their assets.

For example, Remitsy and Hedgey are two smaller startups that Wyre picked in 2017 and 2018, respectively. 

The former runs a blockchain-powered cross-border payments service focused on popular remittance corridors in and out of China. A year after acquiring Remitsy, Wyre snapped up Hedgey, which develops Bitcoin-based smart contract solutions.

Wyre did not publicize the exact value of either deal. But the additional product coverage and international market exposure it gained from Remitsy and Hedgy will certainly be sources of value for the company as it retires.

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Regulatory Direction Not to Blame

Wyre’s decision to shut down follows two weeks in which crypto firms have exited the U.S. market en masse.

For example, having suspended USD deposits and withdrawals last week, this week Binance U.S. began a wave of layoffs . Meanwhile, its failure to secure the necessary license has also forced Binance to exit the Netherlands .

Wyre emphasized that its decision to halt certain services is not a result of regulatory agency directives. Regardless of the challenging regulatory landscape both in its home country and abroad.

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