Crypto market making firm Wintermute took aim at the NEAR Foundation and its subsidiary Aurora Labs for allegedly failing to honour a redemption deal worth $11 million. 

In an X post on Tuesday, Wintermute founder and CEO Evgeny Gaevoy announced that the firm was “not really friends” with the two entities that did not make good on their commitment. 


Sharing a background of the transaction in question, Gaevoy explained that Wintermute was working with the FTX bankruptcy estate to facilitate liquidations for creditor distributions. As part of the deal, Wintermute was meant to facilitate a sale of $11.2 million USN – the NEAR-based algorithmic stablecoin that was shut down last year. 

“While we acted on a proprietary basis (not as agent), we of course entered into the transaction based on the confidence that we could redeem USN to USDT on a 1-to-1 basis,” said Gaevoy.

In October 2022, Unchained reported that the NEAR Foundation had set aside $40 million for a USN redemption program to enable users to redeem USN for USDT on a 1:1 basis.

Gaevoy said that in addition to public statements from the NEAR Foundation, they had also introduced Wintermute to Aurora and confirmed that the redemption would be facilitated in a couple of days.

“However, upon submitting our redemption, NF [NEAR Foundation] refused to honor their commitments. 2.5 months later, we haven’t received any USDT for the USN sent to them in August,” he said.

Gaevoy added that the final offer Wintermute received was 20% of the sum in question, and that Wintermute was “fully committed to switching into full-time adversarial mode” if the Foundation continues to be unreasonable.