Genesis Trading Insolvency Could Trigger a Bitcoin Collapse

What’s Happening with Genesis Trading?

Genesis Trading is one of the world’s largest crypto trading desks for professional investors, primarily offering Bitcoin over-the-counter (OTC) trades and lending services. Recently, Genesis has temporarily suspended redemptions and new loan originations due to abnormal withdrawal requests in the aftermath of the collapse of FTX.

Genesis stated that the withdrawal requests have exceeded its current liquidity, which raised concerns about the firm going insolvent. Because Genesis is directly affiliated with some of the largest crypto institutions, its fall could start another domino effect that is even more devastating than the FTX contagion.

In case you are out of the loop, we have covered the entire timeline of the FTX contagion in chronological order listed down below:

Fallback of Genesis Trading from Three Arrows Capital

The lack of liquidity Genesis is undergoing is not only because of FTX. It is largely attributed to the fall of Three Arrows Capital (3AC) in the aftermath of the Terra Luna collapse.

Genesis was the biggest creditor to 3AC, lending $2.4 billion. After 3AC went bankrupt, Genesis filed a $1.2 billion claim against them. When 3AC failed to provide the required collateral, the parent company of Genesis, Digital Currency Group (DCG), stepped in and assumed the $1.2 billion claim, leaving Genesis with no outstanding liabilities to 3AC.

By Q3 2022, their market activity drastically fell, with loan originations falling from $50 billion in Q4 2021 to a mere $8.4 billion. Despite the situation, institutional investors still believe they were crypto’s safest counter-party.

Gemini’s Exposure to Genesis Trading

Gemini, one of the top crypto exchanges regulated in the U.S., announced that there would be withdrawal delays with its Earn product, in which Genesis is a lending partner. If you do not know how Genesis ties into Gemini Earn, here’s how it basically works:

After the lenders give their crypto to Gemini, it will be given to Genesis for them to lend out to a fund. The borrowing party will pay fees for this, which will be shared between Gemini and the lenders. The problem now is that Genesis is having liquidity issues, thus they are unable to give Gemini back their crypto. This means that lenders on Gemini Earn cannot get their crypto back.

Although Gemini assures this does not impact any other products and services, Gemini customers are rushing to get their funds out fearing the exchange is next to go down as the FTX contagion spreads. Over the past 24 hours at the time of writing, Gemini has seen $570 million in withdrawals and ETH withdrawals reached an all-time high on the exchange.

Genesis Trading’s Impact on the Crypto Market

It is not just Gemini but also many other CeFi platforms and major hedge funds use Genesis for their yield product. Moreover, many crypto whales opt to give their funds directly to Genesis to earn yields as well as custodial services. If Genesis is unable to give them back their crypto, many lenders worldwide could potentially lose their asset.

Genesis is also a sister company of Grayscale, the world’s largest Bitcoin fund (GBTC) and one of the largest Bitcoin holders worth $11 billion at the time of writing. If Grayscale is affected by this, there is a possibility that Grayscale will dissolve GBTC to pay back lenders. This impact of this could be huge.

However, Grayscale assured users that Genesis is not a counterparty or service provider for any Grayscale product, which means they will not be affected by Genesis suspending withdrawals. But in light of recent situations where FTX and Alameda claimed that they are two independent entities, sceptics are demanding a full audit to prove customer funds are safe.

The information provided in this article is intended for general guidance and information purposes only. Contents of this article are under no circumstances intended to be considered as investment, business, legal or tax advice. We do not accept any responsibility for individual decisions made based on this article and we strongly encourage you to do your own research before taking any action. Although best efforts are made to ensure that all information provided herein is accurate and up to date, omissions, errors, or mistakes may occur. 
Disclosure: Authors are invested in cryptocurrency projects and have cryptocurrency holdings - including those covered on this website. 

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