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Orthogonal Trading defaults on $36 million of loans on Maple Finance

Orthogonal Trading has defaulted on $36 million of loans on crypto lending protocol Maple Finance after the investing firm’s funds became tied up on bankrupt exchange FTX.

The default at one of Maple Finance’s key ecosystem players affects some 30% of active loans on the protocol. In response, Maple Finance has severed ties with Orthogonal Trading, the parent entity that runs both a crypto hedge fund and a credit business, according to a statement. It is removing Orthogonal Trading as a borrower on the Maple Finance platform, while removing Orthogonal Credit as a delegate and shutting down its own lending pools.

Orthogonal Trading didn’t respond to multiple requests for comment.

The majority of the defaults — some $31 million — are in the M11 USDC pool, run by a separate company called Maven 11, according to a Maple Finance spokesperson. This will lead to a roughly 80% hit for the remaining investors in that pool. The remaining $5 million is in Maven’s M11 WETH pool — a 38% hit. Other pools are not impacted.

Maple Finance expects to recover $2.5 million to be used to reduce the damage, according to a Maple Finance spokesperson. This will come from the pool cover — used in case of defaults — and fees accrued by Orthogonal that remain on the platform. Maven, specifically M11 Credit, is considering legal action against Orthogonal in the hope of recovering any funds.

Shocked and disappointed

Maple Finance Founder Sid Powell said he was shocked and disappointed by the incident. He acknowledged that there needs to be more stringent due diligence when it comes to undercollateralized lending and said the platform may look to introduce partially collateralized loans.

Powell highlighted that the protocol locks the funds for each pool in separate smart contracts, meaning that they’re not co-mingled. As a result, the losses were limited to each affected pool — contrasting the incident to FTX’s collapse, where Alameda Research’s losses impacted FTX’s customers.

During November, Orthogonal Trading told Maple Finance it only had minor exposure to collapsed crypto exchange FTX, according to Powell. Yet on Dec. 3, the trading firm said that it was defaulting on its loans because it had a lot more money stuck on FTX.

Maven 11 stated that Orthogonal Trading had said multiple times during November that it only had $2.5 million of exposure to FTX, which filed for bankruptcy protection last month.

What role did Orthogonal Trading have on Maple Finance?

Maple Finance is a decentralized protocol that enables institutional investors to access undercollateralized loans. Eligible companies are able to create their own lending pools and approved investors can access loans on demand within these pools.

Orthogonal Trading interacted with Maple Finance in two ways. Its credit arm ran a $30 million USDC lending pool and operated as a delegate, meaning it processed due diligence for investors applying to access the permissioned protocol. Separately, its trading arm operated as a borrower on the platform, using it to access credit. The trading arm did not access any loans in the pool run by its credit arm.

Maple Finance noted that Orthogonal Trading had a good record up until now. It had taken out a cumulative $850 million in loans since using the platform and had only defaulted on $10 million during this time, in relation to troubled crypto lender Babel Finance.

   

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