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Michael Dunworth poised to cash, Wyre cryptocurrency payments company

The founder of the Australian crypto startup Wyre loses $267 million.

A Sydney man's wealth has taken a huge hit, and he is worried that he may have been working for the past 10 years for nothing.

A $267 million deal to sell an Australian man's business fell through. For years, he slept on a mattress on the floor and sent out 2300 cold emails to get money for his start-up.

The man from Sydney went back to Australia from the US in May because he was "burned out" from working on his cryptocurrency payments company, Wyre, for so long.

Michael Dunworth poised to cash, Wyre cryptocurrency payments company
After a "bull run," the price of cryptocurrency dropped all the way.

US-based payment giant Bolt was going to buy the business for $US1.5 billion (A$2.2 billion). Once the deal was done, co-founder Michael Dunworth was going to cash out his 12.5% stake in Wyre.

But since the deal was signed, the cryptocurrency market has gone down. Bitcoin is down a huge 60%, and valuations in the US tech sector have also gone down.

When Mr. Dunworth got back from vacation, he found out that Bolt had broken the deal, which was a terrible blow to his wealth.

Mr. Dunworth told The Australian Financial Review, "I guess money isn't really in the bank until it's in the bank."

"I'm trying to be as true to life as I can. If you don't, you'll only hurt your own heart. But I can't help but think that I could have worked for 10 years and made nothing."

The two businesses would still work together.
The two businesses would still work together.

In January, Bolt was worth $US11 billion, but they didn't say much about why the deal fell through.

But it said it would keep working with Wyre as two separate businesses, which would let it focus on what it does best.

Bolt's CEO, Maju Kuruvilla, said, "We will continue our business partnership with Wyre to pave the way for the integration of crypto into our ecosystem and bring Wyre's innovative crypto infrastructure to the world."

Ether Capital, an investor in Wyre, said that the company and Bolt are making a business deal to add Wyre's one-click feature to Bolt's customer platform.

Wyre CEO Ioannis Giannaros said, "We've already started integrating Bolt's technology to help bring 1-click crypto to millions of users in the crypto space."

Wyre's co-founder Michael Dunworth said that the company had two choices.
Wyre's co-founder Michael Dunworth said that the company had two choices.

Mr. Dunworth said that the market has changed "a lot and very quickly." He also said that Wyre was bought during a "pretty chaotic time" when cryptocurrency was having a "bull run."

He said that Wyre was in the process of giving 40 of its 50 US money licenses, which were worth about $1 million, to Bolt before the deal fell through.

The 36-year-old man said that the company could either look for another buyer or move toward going public.

"There were several interested parties the last time," he said. "Even though the market has changed, I'd be surprised if that's not still the case now."

"We aren't completely broke or bankrupt, and we're still growing, so it's possible that someone might want to buy us."

But the bright side is that Wyre still has a lot of value, and we're still making money and growing. Thinking like this is what's keeping me calm at the moment."


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