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DCG’s Barry Silbert writes letter to investors after FTX collapse

Barry Silbert, the founder of crypto conglomerate Digital Currency Group, has joined a growing list of industry leaders in trying to settle investors’ nerves after the sudden collapse of FTX.

In a note to shareholders on Tuesday, Silbert addressed all the “noise” about the financial health of DCG’s subsidiaries, which includes trading firm Genesis, Grayscale Investments and mining company Foundry.

Since FTX’s rapid winddown two weeks ago, investors have worried about a crypto contagion affecting every corner of the industry. Lenders have stopped lending, withdrawals have been more difficult and unregulated, little-understood tokens have plunged in value. The leading cryptocurrencies, bitcoin and ether, have also continued their year-long descent.

Silbert, an early bitcoin evangelist who founded DCG in 2015, said that despite the crypto winter, the overall company is on pace to generate $800 million in revenue this year on the back of just $25 million raised in primary capital since inception. Forbes estimates Silbert’s net worth at $2 billion.

“We have weathered previous crypto winters,” Silbert wrote, adding that “while this one may feel more severe, collectively we will come out of it stronger.” 

CoinbaseBinance and have similarly done their best to assuage customer concerns to avoid an FTX-type run on customer deposits. They’ve each expressed shock at FTX’s apparent deceit of investors and customers and emphasized that client assets are secure.

That’s all with an awareness that FTX and founder Sam Bankman-Fried betrayed the trust of an industry that was already in the midst of a brutal year of losses. Bankman-Fried said his company’s assets were “fine” two days before he was desperate for a rescue because of a liquidity crunch.

Specific to DCG, investor confidence took a hit in the last week, when the Wall Street Journal reported that Genesis had been trying to raise $1 billion from investors before ultimately halting some withdrawals. There were reports that Genesis would soon file for bankruptcy, which the company publicly refuted.

Fear spread to the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust, known by its ticker GBTC, which lets investors get access to bitcoin through a more traditional security. GBTC is currently trading at a 42% discount to bitcoin, up from a discount of closer to 30% two months ago.

Regarding Genesis’ lending business, Silbert said in the letter that the suspension of redemptions and new loan originations on Nov. 16 was “an issue of liquidity and duration mismatch” in the loan book. These issues, he said, had “no impact” on Genesis’ spot and derivatives trading or custody businesses, which “continue to operate as usual.”

He acknowledged that Genesis has hired financial and legal advisors, as the firm considers its options.

DCG’s debts amount to just over $2 billion. The company borrowed roughly $575 million from Genesis. The loans were priced at “prevailing market interest rates” and are due in May 2023. It also absorbed the $1.1…

Read More: DCG’s Barry Silbert writes letter to investors after FTX collapse

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