Crypto lender Genesis Trading files for bankruptcy protection


Barry Silbert, Founder and CEO, Digital Currency Group

David A Grogan | CNBC

Crypto lender Genesis filed for bankruptcy Thursday night in Manhattan federal court, the latest casualty in the industry contagion caused by the collapse of FTX and a devastating blow to a business once at the heart of the Group. of Barry Silbert’s digital currency.

The company listed more than 100,000 creditors in a “mega” bankruptcy filing, with aggregate liabilities ranging from $1.2 billion to $11 billion, according to bankruptcy documents.

Three separate petitions were filed for the Genesis holding companies. In a statement, the company noted that the firms were only involved in the Genesis crypto lending business. The company’s spot trading and derivatives business will continue unimpeded, as will Genesis Global Trading.

The filing follows months of speculation about whether Genesis would enter bankruptcy protection, and just days after the Securities and Exchange Commission filed a lawsuit against Genesis and his former partner, Gemini, over the unregistered offering and selling of securities.

Genesis is in negotiations with creditors represented by the law firms Kirkland & Ellis and Proskauer Rose, sources familiar with the matter told CNBC. The bankruptcy puts Genesis alongside other downed crypto exchanges, including FiBlockFTX, CelsiusY Traveler.

The FTX Collapse in November it froze the market and led clients across the crypto landscape to seek withdrawals. He Wall Street Journal reported that, following the collapse of FTX, Genesis had sought a billion-dollar emergency bailout, but found no interested parties. Parent company DCG, which has mounting debt to creditors of more than $3 billion, suspended dividends this week. CoinDesk reported.

The crypto contagion

Genesis made loans to crypto hedge funds and over-the-counter companies, but a series of bad bets were made last year seriously injured the lender and forced him to stop withdrawals on November 16.

The New York-based firm had extended crypto loans to Capital of the three arrows (3AC) and Alameda Research, the hedge fund started by Sam Bankman-Fried and closely linked to his FTX exchange.

3AC declared bankrupt in July in the middle of the “crypto winter”. Genesis had loaned more than $2.3 billion in assets to 3AC, according to court documents. 3AC’s creditors have been fighting in court to recover even a small part of the billions of dollars the hedge fund once controlled.

Meanwhile, Alameda was integral to the eventual demise of FTX. Bankman-Fried has repeatedly denied knowledge of fraudulent activity within your business network, but you remain unable to provide a substantial explanation for the billionaire hole. He was arrested in December and released on $250 million bail ahead of his trial, which begins in October.

Genesis had a $2.5 billion exposure to Alameda, though that position was closed in august. After FTX’s bankruptcy in November, Genesis said about $175 million in Genesis assets were “locked up” on FTX’s platform.

Genesis’s financial spiral has exposed Silbert’s broader DCG empire. The parent company was forced to take over Genesis’ billion dollar liability stemming from the collapse of 3AC. In a subsequent letter to investors, Silbert revealed an additional $575 million loan from Genesis to DCG for undisclosed investment purposes.

DCG pioneered going public trustsallowing investors to hold bitcoins and other currencies in their portfolio without direct exposure. Grayscale Bitcoin Escrow extended net asset value discount significantly last year when confidence in the conglomerate waned.

This is a developing story. Please check for updates.