Block.one Exits Silvergate Stake, Says Portfolio Firm Has No Exposure

The Peter Thiel-backed company made a contrarian bet on Silvergate in November when its exposure to FTX’s collapse first became known.

AccessTimeIconMar 9, 2023 at 5:16 p.m. UTC
Updated May 9, 2023 at 4:10 a.m. UTC
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Peter-Thiel backed blockchain software company Block.one said it exited its equity position in Silvergate after the bank was unable to file its annual report last week.

Block.one also said its portfolio company, Bullish, has no exposure to Silvergate, whose holding company announced Wednesday the bank would “voluntarily liquidate" its assets and wind down operations.

Block.one was one of Silvergate’s biggest investors, having purchased stock in November citing their “strong balance sheet, their strategic positioning, or their market-defiant growth trajectory” which made the bank a “unique investment opportunity,” according to a company statement at the time, which has since been taken down.

This was while the bank was struggling with a falling stock price and an outflow of deposits after it became public that it had exposure to bankrupt crypto exchange FTX.

In November, Block.one and its CEO, Brendan Blumer, bought a 9.27% stake in Silvergate Capital (SI), upping that to 9.9% in December, according to Bloomberg, making them one of the bank’s biggest stockholders. On Wednesday, the Cayman Islands-based company said it had exited its stake in the bank.

“While we are disappointed with this outcome, we remain unwavering that banks and other financial institutions embracing the digital asset and cryptocurrency sectors are well-positioned to use technology to advance the capabilities of both the traditional financial services and the new burgeoning digital asset economy to better serve the needs of the public,” a Block.one press release said.

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CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by Block.one; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk offers all employees above a certain salary threshold, including journalists, stock options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.

Helene Braun

Helene is a New York-based reporter covering Wall Street, the rise of the spot bitcoin ETFs and crypto exchanges. She is also the co-host of CoinDesk's Markets Daily show. Helene is a graduate of New York University's business and economic reporting program and has appeared on CBS News, YahooFinance and Nasdaq TradeTalks. She holds BTC and ETH.


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