Crypto firm Gemini has posted an open letter criticizing Barry Silbert and his company Digital Currency Group (DCG).
In November, following the collapse of FTX, Genesis – a subsidiary of DCG – halted redemptions. Gemini had utilized the Genesis lending platform for its Earn program – a yield service that had generated an 8.5% return prior to the cessation of activities. Gemini’s customers were caught in the lurch. When Genesis “paused” withdrawals, Gemini commented:
“We are working with the Genesis team to help customers redeem their funds from the Earn program as quickly as possible. We will provide more information in the coming days.
The past week has been an incredibly challenging and stressful time for our industry. We are disappointed that the Earn program SLA will not be met, but we are encouraged by Genesis’ and its parent company Digital Currency Group’s commitment to doing everything in their power to fulfill their obligations to customers under the Earn program. We will continue to work with them on behalf of all Earn customers. This is our highest priority. We greatly appreciate your patience.”
Jump to the future, and Genesis is still frozen, and there is apparently no resolution as chatter of a possible Chapter 11 filing gets louder.
Earn Update: An Open Letter to @BarrySilbert pic.twitter.com/kouAviTho4
— Cameron Winklevoss (@cameron) January 2, 2023
In the letter, signed by Cameron Winklevoss, Silbert is slammed for his lack of engagement even after Gemini submitted a requested resolution to the issue.
“The idea in your head that you can quietly hide in your ivory tower and that this will all just magically go away, or that this is someone else’s problem, is pure fantasy. To be clear, this mess is entirely of your own making. Digital Currency Group (DCG) – of which you are the founder and CEO – owes Genesis (its wholly owned subsidiary) ~$1.675 billion. This is money that Genesis owes to Earn users and other creditors. You took this money – the money of schoolteachers – to fuel greedy share buybacks, illiquid venture investments, and kamikaze Grayscale NAV trades that ballooned the fee-generating AUM of your Trust; all at the expense of creditors and all for your own personal gain. It is now time for you to take responsibility for this and do the right thing.”
Winkelvoss asks Silbert to work together to solve the problem by January 8, 2023.
Silbert has countered, disputing that Genesis has missed any payments and that Gemini has not borrowed $1.675 billion.
DCG did not borrow $1.675 billion from Genesis
DCG has never missed an interest payment to Genesis and is current on all loans outstanding; next loan maturity is May 2023
DCG delivered to Genesis and your advisors a proposal on December 29th and has not received any response
— Barry Silbert (@BarrySilbert) January 2, 2023
In the end, it is a mess with individual investors caught in the middle.
I believe this seller financing (non-cash) hypothesis is still true.
Barry is saying DCG didn’t ‘borrow’ from Genesis.
But the DCG acknowledges a $1.1 Bn note in connection with 3AC.
Seller financing is borrowing even if not 💰 day one.
Followup Q – where is impairment? https://t.co/HTzj2gWjEh
— Ram Ahluwalia, crypto CFA (@ramahluwalia) January 3, 2023
Crypto analyst Ram Ahluwalia has an interesting thread on the debacle, suggesting new money is brought to the table at a significant haircut to DCG shareholders (IE Barry Silbert). As DCG is the parent firm for Grayscale, the firm that offers tradable digital asset funds like GBTC, this company could experience collateral impact as well.