Mining Troubles Take Down Ecosystem

Thom Thompson

Thom Thompson

Contributing Editor

Judge Janet Baer presided over a motion hearing on June 5 in the bankruptcy proceedings of Bcause, ”the world’s first full-stack cryptocurrency ecosystem.”  Bcause’s full stacks include mining, spot trading and futures trading, as well as a derivatives clearing organization. According to statements as recent as March 24, Bcause’s stacks were meant to comprise an ecosystem. Full-stack, a vague but “sexy” computer engineering term, has been part of the company’s branding from the start. Bcause wants to signal that it is the whole enchilada (full-stack has as much to do with enchiladas as ecosystems).  

Wednesday’s hearing addressed how much of Bcause’s otherwise frozen cash collateral could be used to prepay electricity bills so the cryptocurrency mining operations can continue. Mining comprised the company’s only current business operation. Judge Baer approved disbursement of $22,000 per day until June 24, the business day after the next hearing on June 21 when Bcause’s recovery plan will be mooted in court. It seemed reasonable and was agreed among the several parties to the case.

The parties include Bcause Mining and its parent holding company; Dominion Power Company; Wesco, a secured and somewhat exasperated creditor; and the committee of unsecured creditors. While all of them would be thrilled if Bcause Mining could just go back to Virginia Beach, Virginia, and make a ton of money so they and their attorneys could get paid, the economics are not in favor of that occurring. Thus the attorneys, despite the very low stakes of Wednesday’s motion hearing, were a bit testy with each other. The Wesco lawyer told the court that he was concerned that the company might be emptied out, as the CEO, CFO and General Counsel had all left. Bcause’s attorney took umbrage at that remark but reassured the court that in fact these senior departures (he called them terminations) were a good thing because the company could now put the right management in place. (Other sources have confirmed that they were not fired.)

Since the April 11 bankruptcy filing by Bcause Mining and then the holding company, the company’s website has shed most of its trading and clearing officers and directors. The court filings have indicated that the financial problems have occurred in the mining subsidiary, which has ongoing operations that may be rehabilitated. Although Tom Flake, a Bcause founder, told CoinDesk, an online publication, less than a month ago that they would start their cash market trading on May 23, there is little other evidence that that will happen. The takeaway: Bcause’s is just another ecosystem to be undone by a mining disaster.        

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