Genesis update: disputes with creditors to be resolved without mediator

Category: Blockchain Crypto Fintech
Posted by Lea Hogg

Lawyer for Genesis Global Capital Sean O’Neal said that the cryptocurrency lender may be in a position to resolve pending issues with creditors with a goal of emerging from Chapter 11 by late May.  Negotiations with creditors have been taking place for the last two months.  

O’Neal spoke for Genesis Global Capital during a hearing in Manhattan bankruptcy court. The company is owned by Barry Silbert and venture capital firm Digitial Currency Group (DCG).

Genesis filed for bankruptcy protection two months after customer withdrawals were frozen. Difficulties arose for the company as a result of the collapse of FTX exchange owned by Sam Bankman-Fried.  

Other bankruptcies were filed by cryptocurrency lenders that included Celsius Network, Voyager Digital and BlockFi.

Creditors

Creditors are claiming debts of over $1.5 billion.  Brian Rosen, a lawyer representing the creditors said that an acceptable arrangement should be reached very soon.  He added, “sitting here right now, I don’t think we’re going to need a mediator”.

The intention is for Genesis to exit bankruptcy by 19 May and to sell some assets through auction. ‘First day motions’ have been granted by the court and this will include payments made to employees of Genesis and critical parties.  It was agreed that Genesis would not reveal the names in the lists of creditors.

Background

Genesis is reporting over US $5 billion of assets and liabilities.  There are more than 100,000 creditors with claims of more than US $3.4 billion. Nearly $1.7 billion of claims have been filed against the holding company.  

Genesis’ bankruptcy does not include DCG, or Genesis’ derivatives and spot trading, custody and brokerage businesses. Although  DCG also controls the asset manager Grayscale and news service CoinDesk, they are not included in the bankruptcy.

Winklevoss family and Gemini

The largest creditor is crypto exchange Gemini which is owed just under US 800 million.  The company is owned by foreigner US Olymbic sportsmen Cameron and Tyler Winkelvoss who are identical twins. 

The Securities and Exchange Commission has also charged Genesis and Gemini with illegally selling unregistered securities through their Gemini Earn lending product.

The Winklevoss family are claiming assets of at least $900 million that are owed to nearly 350,000 investors.  The brothers are also asking for Barry Silbert’s immediate resignation. 

Chris Marcus, Gemini’s lawyer  is also confident that disputes to settle can be resolved without a mediator.  

Genesis’ borrowers also include hedge fund Three Arrows Capital and Alameda Research, a trading firm affiliated with FTX. Three Arrows and Alameda are also in bankruptcy proceedings.

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