FTX-linked Moonstone bank to exit the crypto space

Moonstone Bank, a rural Washington state bank that received an estimated $11.5 million investment from FTX’s sister company, Alameda Research, has announced today that it will be exiting the crypto space and returning to its “original mission” as a community bank. 

In a statement released by the bank – now known as Farmington State Bank – on Jan. 19, it cited that the change in strategy comes as a result of “recent events in the crypto assets industry and the changing regulatory environment surrounding crypto asset businesses.” 

As part of the bank’s initiative to “return to its roots,” it shared that said it will no longer use the name Moonstone Bank and will be rebranding and adopting the well-known Farmington State Bank name, which has been a part of the local community for 135 years.

According to the bank, the change is estimated to take effect in the coming weeks and local banking customers will not experience any disruption of services.

Although the bank did not outrightly cite the collapse of FTX as part of its decision to re-strategize and rebrand, it is understood that these events may be linked.

Moonstone Bank was reportedly acquired in 2020 by Jean Chalopin, the Bahamas-based chairman of Deltec, which is another FTX banking partner. Chalopin reportedly secured an $11.5 million investment from Alameda Research in January 2022 to transform Moonstone into a crypto-focused financial services firm. 

Related: Silvergate sold assets at loss and cut staff to cover $8.1B in withdrawals: Report

Farmington State Bank appears to be on the growing list of banks affected by the sudden implosion of FTX. 

On Jan. 5, Cointelegraph reported that the FTX debacle has triggered a bank run on Silvergate, causing the company to sell off its assets at a loss and cut staff by 40% to cover $8.1 billion worth of customer withdrawals. As a result of this, Silvergate dismissed around 200 employees, which was 40% of its total personnel. Additionally, the bank canceled its plan to launch its own digital currency project.

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