Genesis Faces ‘Hundreds of Millions’ in Losses as 3AC Exposure Swamps Crypto Lenders: Sources

The DCG-owned trading colossus is said to have suffered nine-figure losses partly through exposure to Three Arrows Capital and Babel Finance.

AccessTimeIconJun 29, 2022 at 11:40 p.m. UTC
Updated Jun 30, 2022 at 2:18 p.m. UTC

Ian Allison is an award-winning senior reporter at CoinDesk. He holds ETH.

Danny is CoinDesk's deputy business editor. He owns BTC, ETH and SOL.

Cryptocurrency market maker and lending firm Genesis Trading is facing potential losses into the “hundreds of millions,” according to three people familiar with the matter.

The losses at Genesis relate, in part, to exposure to over-leveraged hedge fund Three Arrows Capital and Hong Kong-based crypto lender Babel Finance, and are on the order of “a few hundred million dollars,” one of the people said.

The losses come as the collapse of Three Arrows Capital sends shockwaves across the crypto lending industry, with numerous firms facing substantial losses from their exposure to the fund.

The precise tally of Genesis’s losses may not be known for some time because the company is seeking at least partial repayment from its counterparties and some of the losses may have been offset by hedging, the people said. Amid such uncertainty, Genesis has been pulling credit lines from counterparties left and right, according to a fourth market source.

Genesis, which is owned by Digital Currency Group (DCG), also the owner of CoinDesk, issued the following statement from CEO Michael Moro:

"As we already stated on June 17, we mitigated our losses with a large counterparty who failed to meet a margin call to us. We sold collateral, hedged our downside and moved on. Our business continues to operate normally and we are meeting all of our clients' needs."

Neither Babel Finance nor Three Arrows Capital responded to requests for comment.

A cascade of liquidations at many different crypto lending and trading platforms has followed the high-profile unraveling of crypto firms such as Terraform Labs (of Terra and luna infamy), Celsius and Three Arrows Capital, aided by a plunge in the value of cryptocurrencies across the board.

The impact from Three Arrows Capital in particular has been felt widely. Crypto brokerage Voyager saw its stock plunge and was forced to limit withdrawals as it declared the hedge fund in default on loans worth around $670 million. Others, including BlockFi, are believed to be facing similar challenges.

Genesis has previously acknowledged taking a hit in the bear market without giving any numbers. The firm “carefully and thoughtfully mitigated our losses with a large counterparty who failed to meet a margin call to us,” CEO Moro tweeted in mid-June.

Genesis originated over $44.3 billion in loans in the first quarter of 2022. Its parent company, DCG, a large crypto conglomerate rumored to have a war chest of about $1 billion, is likely to help Genesis “buffer that kind of shock,” one person said.

Other crypto lenders have enlisted deep-pocketed saviors in recent days, with FTX’s Sam Bankman-Fried making opportunistic investments in BlockFi and Voyager.

Forced deleveraging across markets has further tanked bitcoin’s (BTC) price in recent days with the leading cryptocurrency currently trading hands around $20,000.

UPDATE (June 30, 02:14 UTC): Adds that crypto lender BlockFi is believed to be in similar straits.

DISCLOSURE

Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.

CoinDesk - Unknown

Ian Allison is an award-winning senior reporter at CoinDesk. He holds ETH.

CoinDesk - Unknown

Danny is CoinDesk's deputy business editor. He owns BTC, ETH and SOL.

CoinDesk - Unknown

Ian Allison is an award-winning senior reporter at CoinDesk. He holds ETH.

CoinDesk - Unknown

Danny is CoinDesk's deputy business editor. He owns BTC, ETH and SOL.