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Jan 20 (Reuters) – U.S. crypto company Digital Currency Group (DCG) is at the center of the industry’s latest meltdown after the lending arm of one of its companies, Genesis, froze customer redemptions in November.
Genesis Global Capital filed for U.S. bankruptcy protection from creditors on Thursday.
Here is what we know about the many companies Digital Currency Group owns:
DCG acquired crypto news website CoinDesk in 2016 after previously investing in the outlet. TechCrunch at the time pegged the deal as being worth about $500,000 to $600,000.
CoinDesk in November published a leaked balance sheet of Alameda Research, the crypto trading firm founded by Sam Bankman-Fried. Many industry observers cited the report as the catalyst for the downfall of Alameda and Bankman-Fried’s crypto exchange FTX, which filed for bankruptcy less than two weeks later.
Genesis Trading was originally the bitcoin trading division at DCG Chief Executive Barry Silbert’s SecondMarket, but re-launched with its new name as a subsidiary of DCG when Silbert started the venture firm in 2015.
Genesis’s crypto lending arm, Genesis Global Capital, said in November it would stop making new loans and blocked customers from withdrawing funds, citing the market dislocation caused by the collapse of FTX.
Genesis Global Capital filed for U.S. bankruptcy protection on Jan. 20. Its filing said it had both assets and liabilities in the range of $1 billion to $10 billion and estimated it had more than 100,000 creditors.
DCG itself owes $1.68 billion to Genesis’ crypto lending arm, according to a November letter Silbert sent to shareholders. That includes a $1.1 billion promissory note that appears to be connected with liabilities DCG assumed from Genesis after it was hit hard by the collapse of Singapore-based crypto hedge fund Three Arrows Capital.
Silbert started Grayscale Investments in 2013 after he stepped down as CEO of SecondMarket. After selling SecondMarket to Nasdaq Inc (NDAQ.O) in 2015, he launched DCG, with Grayscale as one of the firm’s subsidiaries.
Grayscale’s flagship Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) is the world’s largest bitcoin fund, one that the company hopes will someday be converted into an exchange-traded fund.
GBTC has not traded at a premium relative to the price of bitcoin, its underlying asset, since early 2021. DCG embarked on an effort to reduce the discount in 2021, announcing a plan to spend up to $1 billion to buy GBTC shares.
Troubles at Genesis’ lending business had no impact on DCG and its subsidiaries, DCG said in November, while Grayscale said its underlying assets were unaffected.
DCG is a prolific venture capital investor and says it has a portfolio of more than 200 companies. Crypto exchange Luno and crypto mining firm Foundry are listed as subsidiaries.
DCG is also an investor in U.S. crypto exchanges Coinbase (COIN.O) and Kraken, and its other holdings include the U.S. firm Circle, which runs the stablecoin USDC, and blockchain analytics companies Chainalysis, Dune Analytics, Elliptic and Etherscan.
Reporting by Elizabeth Howcroft in London and Hannah Lang in Washington; Editing by Lananh Nguyen, Matthew Lewis and Sharon Singleton
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