“We always knew something like this was possible, and we tried to stress the risks to a system like this in our research and public commentary, but the fact is we miscalculated the risk of a ‘death spiral’ event coming to fruition. We’ve taken some heat for this over the last week, and we deserve it. The criticism is fair and we accept it,” the firm wrote.
The firm wrote that in the first quarter of 2021, Delphi Ventures Master Fund purchased a small amount of LUNA, worth 0.5% of its net asset value (NAV) at the time. That position grew as LUNA’s value increased and the fund increased its holdings, including a $10 million investment in the LFG’s funding round in February. That investment is now worthless.
While Delphi said that it didn’t sell any LUNA, it’s now sitting on “a large unrealized loss.”
Delphi was once a believer in the LFG’s ability to counterbalance any risks from the LUNA-UST relationship, but ultimately, LFG’s holdings weren't enough to be an effective backstop once the price of bitcoin (BTC) began to quickly decline earlier in the quarter. The foundation had purchased a large amount of bitcoin to help support LUNA and UST.
“We believed a high level of external collateralization was a necessity in the long run, and we saw this as a path to get there. Unfortunately, it didn’t grow fast enough compared to UST supply, and, combined with a fall in value of the BTC reserves, the liability overhang was too large to be defended,” Delphi wrote.
Hashed hit hard
One of Terra’s other prominent backers is Hashed, an early-stage venture fund based in Seoul, South Korea. The company invested in TerraForm Labs’ $25 million venture round in 2021, according to Crunchbase data.
“We were immediately impressed with the sophistication of their mechanical design and execution speed,” Hashed wrote about Terra in 2019. “They’ve done a superb job executing: building product, hiring, facilitating and interacting with the community, and more.”
Publicly, Hashed has said that it is “financially sound” and Hashed Ventures hasn’t been affected by the crisis.
All in all, Hashed’s losses amount to over $3.5 billion using pricing data from early April.
Local media in South Korea report that more than 200,000 investors in the country hold Terra-related tokens.
South Korea’s newly elected president, Yoon Suk-yeol, is pro-crypto and has promised a regulatory framework for the asset class, which analysts say will likely be introduced at an accelerated pace given the scale of the crisis caused by Terra.
The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, institutional digital assets exchange. Bullish group is majority owned by Block.one; both groups 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, and an editorial committee, chaired by a former editor-in-chief of The Wall Street Journal, is being formed to support journalistic integrity.