Hanu Fejiro, Founder and CEO of the embattled crypto exchange, Patricia, has announced that customers would start getting access to their funds from November 20, which is next Monday. This was revealed in a chat with Technext in which the embattled CEO cleared the air on some allegations gaining ground about the company ‘forcing’ customers to convert holdings to shares/equity.
Crypto exchange Patricia, as well as its customers, have endured a difficult time for most of 2023. Patricia ran into trouble following a breach in its security sometime last year. But it remained a well-kept secret until May of this year when Technext reported the breach. The crypto exchange lost N2 billion in the process.
In a bid to salvage the situation, the company first resorted to converting the loss to debt tokens. This was greeted with huge backlash as many users refused the measure. When this failed, the company decided to convert the debts into equity, granting the customers ownership of the company.
Hanu Fejiro confirmed to Technext that the move is an integral component of the company’s strategy for fundraising and a bid to reorganise its debts. He also said the idea was put forward by ‘numerous users’ and that it was not mandatory. To buttress the point, he revealed that the company working with an SEC-approved company to act as escrow in managing repayments to customers who refused the equity deal. That company turned out to be DLM Trust.
However, recently, DLM Trust the escrow company named by embattled crypto company Patricia as partner and trustee to guarantee the repayment of its customers, dissociated itself from the crypto exchange with immediate effect.
Following that, Patricia Technologies released a statement where it said it was shocked by the development.
“DLM Trust Company’s sudden and unilateral decision to terminate our partnership. This development is coming as a surprise as we were not informed before their public statement of withdrawal.”
Nevertheless, the company assured depositors and stakeholders that the Repayment plan that was initiated would go on as scheduled.
Patricia’s customer can withdraw from November 20
In a private conversation with Technext, Hanu Fejiro confirmed to Technext that customers’ withdrawals will start next Monday.
According to the email that was sent to customers, balances would now be paid in Naira because of issues with partners in the past. These include financial partners and institutions who have difficulty understanding Crypto and are not able to audit or manage the repayment process.
To ensure full transparency in this process, Patricia now has to adopt naira payments, per the statement. Also, the conversion will be done at the market rate as of when Patricia halted operations.
Additionally, users are selected to be paid using two guidelines. Firstly, customers who filled out asset forms would be attended to on a first come first serve basis. Secondly, vulnerable customers would be prioritized. Patricia classifies vulnerable users as users who have the lowest balances. The company believe that they are most affected.
Notably, users who had BTC, USD and Naira are the only users affected by those conditions. Customers with other assets like ETH, Doge, XRP, and USDT would be able to access assets in full on the 20th of November, 2023, per the statement.
The company also stated that this is a continuous process and the next payment date will be communicated in earnest.
Addressing the report that the company is trying to ‘force’ customers, especially ones with balances running into millions, to convert all or a fraction of their holdings into equity/shares, Hanu Fejiro said this is false.
“We never “forced” users to do so, we have made it public weeks ago, users do so at their own discretion.”
Also, talking about an “updated terms & conditions” which some have said is a covert way of saying Patricia cannot and will not be summoned/prosecuted outside Lithuania, Hanu Fejiro denies this. He said the team didn’t send any information implying this to its customers. He pointed out that there are a lot of false narratives being circulated out there by characters with questionable motives wanting to take advantage of customers. He said the screenshot above was only an excerpt from what has been Patricia’s Terms and Conditions since they moved out of Nigeria in 2021.
“We didn’t send this to users, this is an excerpt from our company’s T&C, on the website.
Remember we announced this back in 2021, after the CBN ban. Nothing has changed since then,” he said.
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