Crypto lender Genesis Trading lays off 30% of its workforce

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Barry Silbert, Founder and CEO, Digital Currency Group

David A. Grogan | CNBC

Genesis Trading, the embattled crypto lending arm of Barry Silbert’s Digital Currency Group, has cut its workforce by 30% as it faces increasing pressure from creditors and the looming threat of bankruptcy, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.

Genesis had already laid off 20% of its workforce and replaced its CEO last year. Silbert’s crypto conglomerate, which includes the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) and mining company Foundry, was hit by the market turmoil of 2022 and the bankruptcy of crypto hedge fund Three Arrows Capital.

About 60 positions were eliminated, said the source, who requested not to be named because the numbers are confidential. The company now has about 145 employees. The latest cut comes a day after interim CEO Derar Islim told clients Genesis needed more time to resolve the financial crisis.

The Wall Street Journal previously reported on the cuts.

Genesis called in bankruptcy professionals shortly after the collapse of crypto exchange FTX and its sister hedge fund Alameda Research. The Wall Street Journal reported that shortly after the implosion of Alameda, a major customer of Genesis, Genesis sought a $1 billion emergency loan. Genesis froze repayments for all customers after FTX filed for bankruptcy protection on Nov. 11.

Silbert has come under fire as a result of the redemption freeze. Earlier this week, Cameron Winklevoss, a Genesis client and CEO of crypto exchange Gemini, accused Silbert of “bad faith” delaying tactics and demanded a solution to the liquidity crisis at Genesis. He said DCG owes $1.675 billion to Gemini customers.

Silbert responded on Twitter by saying that DCG has never borrowed $1.675 billion from Gemini and is “keeping track of all outstanding loans.”

Correction: An earlier version of this story cut an incorrect number of jobs.

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