Crypto Lender SALT in Buyout Talks, 2 Years After SEC Settlement

SALT has entered acquisition talks with Bnk to the Future, news of which has sent its native token pumping 100%


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key takeaways

  • Bnk to the Future is looking to bounce back after backing failed crypto lender Celsius
  • SALT settled SEC charges in September 2020 over its $47 million token sale

Crypto lender SALT is eyeing a buyout nearly two years after it was charged by the US securities watchdog for operating an unregistered initial coin offering (ICO).

Secured Automated Lending Technology (SALT), which allows users to take out crypto-backed loans, said Friday it was in talks with digital asset and fintech investment platform Bnk To The Future (BF).

BF has signed a letter of intent to acquire SALT, the companies said in a statement. The deal is dependent upon inking definitive agreements and regulatory approval.

SALT said the deal would bolster its suite of products. The Denver-based lender noted customers’ loan terms, security of investments and services would remain unchanged as it seeks to hash out the terms with BF.

Blockworks attempted to contact both companies to further understand the terms of the deal but have yet to receive a response.

SALT launched in October 2017 — peak-ICO mania — as bitcoin was on its way to $20,000 for the first time.

The startup ran afoul with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in September 2020, when it was charged with operating an unregistered ICO starting in June 2017, which by December of that year had raised $47 million. 

The firm settled the charges and agreed to pay a $250,000 civil penalty and return money to investors who initiated a claims process. SALT has since become a registered entity with the SEC, which means it must now file regular financial statements.

SALT’s native token of the same name has doubled since word of the potential acquisition first broke on Friday, trading for $0.077 — down 75% over the past year and more than 99% below its $17.22 record high posted in December 2017.

As for BF, it was founded in 2011 by former investment banker turned bitcoin backer Simon Dixon. It helps qualified investors pour money into companies, funds and other products focused on the future of finance. 

BF was a leading investor in troubled crypto lender Celsius, which filed for bankruptcy in July, nearly a month after it froze fund withdrawals. It’s reported that more than 1,000 BF users were exposed to Celsius’ collapse, with Dixon himself one of the platform’s top depositors.

The Cayman Island-registered firm claims to have facilitated investments worth more than $1.7 billion over the years.

David Canellis contributed reporting.

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