Genesis’ Crypto Trading Arm Is Moving Money Around, a Sign of Normality Amid Sibling’s Bankruptcy

About $125 million was sent to exchanges in the run-up to Genesis’ lending division filing for Chapter 11 protection. More was moved the next day.

AccessTimeIconJan 20, 2023 at 11:33 p.m. UTC
Updated May 9, 2023 at 4:06 a.m. UTC
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Even as Genesis’ crypto-lending business entered bankruptcy court protection, the company’s trading arm, which remained out of Chapter 11, is still moving money around on blockchains – a sign the business was still running at least somewhat as normal.

A wallet controlled by the Genesis over-the-counter trading desk sent about $125 million of ether (ETH), fantom (FTM) and tether (USDT) to the Coinbase, Binance, Bitstamp and Kraken exchanges on Thursday, the day of the bankruptcy filing, according to blockchain data compiled by Etherscan. In the past several hours, the wallet has transacted several more times, receiving almost $50 million USD coin (USDC).

The movements match parent company Digital Currency Group’s (DCG) pledge that the Genesis trading business will “continue to operate business as usual.” (DCG is also CoinDesk's parent company.) It’s early yet, however, so it remains to be seen how the bankruptcy filing of Genesis’s lending entities will affect the spot and derivatives businesses over the long haul.

“The reputation of Genesis is in the bin,” Charles Storry, head of growth at crypto index platform Phuture, said in an interview with CoinDesk. “Maybe they keep some legacy clients. Maybe. As for introducing new clients, no chance while bankruptcy is in play.”

Frank Chaparro, a journalist at The Block, posted a Twitter poll asking users whether they would trade with Genesis after the lending division’s bankruptcy filing. As of press time, 73.7% of the 938 who responded voted “no.”

During the movement of crypto on Thursday, the OTC desk wallet sent 50,000 ETH to Coinbase, 20,000 ETH to Bitstamp and 5,000 ETH to Kraken. It sent an additional 7.7 million FTM worth roughly $2.4 million to Binance and $3.9 million USDT to Kraken, according to Etherscan.

This particular wallet typically moves funds on weekdays, Nansen.ai data shows, so the Thursday transactions looked basically normal amid the bankruptcy drama.

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Genesis’ on-chain portfolio, composed of at least eight unique addresses, has a net worth of $307 million as of press time Friday: 74.7% of Genesis’ portfolio is ETH, while the next six tokens – USDC, compound (COMP) , the sandbox (SAND), apecoin (APE), decentraland (MANA) and aave (AAVE) – make up 13.8% of the entire portfolio.

This figure is most likely a conservative estimate of Genesis’ total holdings. DarkFi.eth, one of the white hats who stole and subsequently returned roughly $2 million from the Nomad bridge exploit in August 2022, told CoinDesk: “It is not strange for venture firms to obscure what wallets hold their tokens.” Even so, Genesis’ known holdings make it the third-biggest whale on Nansen’s Funds Leaderboard, after Jump Trading and Paradigm Capital.

Genesis didn’t return a request for comment by press time.

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Sage D. Young

Sage D. Young was a tech protocol reporter at CoinDesk. He owns a few NFTs, gold and silver, as well as BTC, ETH, LINK, AAVE, ARB, PEOPLE, DOGE, OS, and HTR.


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