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FEB 2, 2024

DeFiance Capital notches up another legal victory in 3AC dispute

by CoinNess Global

In the ongoing legal tussle over cryptocurrency assets, the High Court of Singapore has rejected a plea by the bankrupt crypto hedge fund Three Arrows Capital (3AC) to dismiss a lawsuit filed by Arthur Cheong, the founder of Web3 investment firm DeFiance Capital.
This ruling represents a pivotal moment in the $140 million dispute, shedding light on the ownership and control of assets, while building upon DeFiance Capital’s previous success back in August of last year in having its preference for jurisdiction in Singapore endorsed.

Recognizing assets held in trust

On Jan. 26, a Singapore judge ruled against 3AC’s request to have Cheong’s claim thrown out, stating that DeFiance Capital has adequately demonstrated the existence of a Singapore-based trust safeguarding its assets. This revelation could potentially shield DeFiance Capital from 3AC’s liquidators, marking a crucial juncture in the legal battle.
The dispute traces back to an agreement where Cheong was set to launch an independent fund on the 3AC Group platform, with ownership and control vested in DeFiance Capital. This fund, leveraging 3AC’s infrastructure, faced disagreements over the transfer of certain assets, whose undisclosed value became a point of contention in court documents.
The downfall of the $10 billion 3AC hedge fund, responsible for the “Super Cycle” thesis predicting perpetual crypto price increases, had widespread repercussions in the crypto industry. DeFiance Capital bore the brunt of this collapse and the recent court ruling brings the firm closer to resolving the aftermath favorably.
The ongoing argument holds strategic importance for DeFiance Capital, as the investment firm challenges any legal obligation for its shareholders to compensate 3AC creditors. “Wassielawyer,” a pseudonymous restructuring attorney advising DeFiance Capital’s founder Arthur Cheong, highlighted the significance of this stance on social media.

Positive sign

The judge’s acknowledgment of the trust, while not conclusive, is viewed as a positive sign for DeFiance Capital. In a series of posts on the X social media platform, Wassielawyer outlined on Thursday that he sees this as “much-needed vindication” for Cheong, signaling a potential turn in favor of the investment firm.
Wassielawyer emphasized that DeFiance Capital merely utilized 3AC’s legal structure, without commingling operations. This distinction becomes crucial as carefully drafted legal documents form the basis for 3AC creditors attempting to seize DeFiance Capital funds. The restructuring professional added:
”[DeFiance Capital] have on the basis of the substantive facts, ran an argument that the assets of DCs should not be used to pay back 3AC creditors. This eventuality would be manifestly unjust, enriching the creditors of 3AC at the expense of innocent DC investors.”
Once a major player in the crypto hedge fund arena, 3AC’s demise resulted from exposure to Terra, staked Ethereum and Grayscale’s Bitcoin Trust. The bankruptcy filing on June 30, 2022, marked the end of an era for the once-mighty fund.
Established in 2020, DeFiance Capital specializes in crypto investments, focusing on decentralized finance and GameFi. It has supported projects such as dYdX, Aave and Lido.
This decision establishes a precedent for similar cases, particularly in jurisdictions like Singapore, emerging as pivotal hubs for cryptocurrency and blockchain-related activities. The outcome holds implications for how such legal disputes will be handled in the future, shaping the landscape of crypto-related legal proceedings.
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