Cameron Winklevoss Says 'No Path Forward' While Barry Silbert Remains Digital Currency Group's CEO

Zinger Key Points
  • Cameron Winklevoss, founder of Gemini Exchange, posted a 4-page letter to DCG on Twitter.
  • Winklevoss accused DCG of obfuscating a large unsecured loan to Genesis on the balance sheet.
  • Winklevoss asks on behalf of Gemini and 340,000 Genesis Earn users for CEO Barry Silbert’s resignation.

Cameron Winklevoss, co-founder and president of crypto exchange Gemini GUSD/USD and Winklevoss Capital, posted an open letter to cryptocurrency fund Digital Currency Group, or DCG.

What Happened: The intent of the missive, to DCG and all of Twitter, was to expose what Winklevoss deems the fraudulent behavior of DCG and to call for the termination of its CEO Barry Silbert.

When billionaires take up the cause of the common consumer, there is always room for celebration — but in his 4-page letter, posted as JPGs attached to his tweet, Winklevoss hit on several key points.

Here is a breakdown:

1. Winklevoss Believes Barry Silbert And DCG Lied To And Defrauded Gemini (And Earn Users)

Winklevoss: “I am writing to let you know that Gemini and more than 340,000 Earn users have been defrauded by Genesis Global Capital, LLC (Genesis), together with its parent company Digital Capital Group (DCG), and it’s founder Barry Silbert, and other key personnel. They did so in an effort to mislead lenders into believing that DCG had absorbed the massive losses that Genesis incurred from the Three Arrows Capital (3AC) collapse…”

The series of events that Winklevoss describes includes:

  • Genesis lent $2.36 billion to 3AC.
  • After 3AC collapsed, Genesis indicated it had lost $1.2 billion.
  • The loss was approximately 15% of DCG’s $8 billion in assets — so restructuring could have restored funds for users.
  • Instead, Winklevoss maintains that Silbert mischaracterized the $1.2 shortfall as funds moved into Genesis by DCG to support the lender.

2. DCG’s “Support” For Genesis Was An Unsecured 1% Interest Rate Loan

On July 6, Michael Moro, CEO of Genesis at the time, tweeted:

Winklevoss: “DCG has assumed certain liabilities of Genesis related to 3AC to ensure we have the capital to operate and scale our business for the long-term.”

Winklevoss explains it was a 10-year promissory note with Genesis at an interest rate of 1%. He said: “The note was a complete gimmick that did nothing to improve Gemini’s immediate liquidity position.” Winklevoss pointed out that DCG was tagged in the tweet but no one from the company corrected the statement.

3. Accounting Fraud Accusations

According to Winklevoss, there were two instances of misrepresentation in a document titled ”Gemini Risk Metric Request.”

Winklevoss: “This document contained what we have since discovered to be at least two critical misrepresentations: (1) it characterized the DCG promissory note as a ‘Current Asset’ and (2) it is valued at $1.1 billion.”

Winklevoss pointed out that current assets generally mean cash or assets that will pay out in a year, not a 10-year loan. He also noted, “The net present value of the note would be heavily discounted (approximately 70%),” making the note worth “perhaps $300 million” — a far cry from the $1.1 billion value declared. Winklevoss indicated that the same improper accounting existed in the Genesis balance sheet.

4. It’s Just About Greed

Winklevoss has an easy explanation for Genesis’ generosity in giving 3AC such a large loan with poor collateral and a 1% interest rate — greed.

Winklevoss: “Genesis was willing to recklessly lend to 3AC because 3AC was using the money for the Kamikaze Grayscale net asset value (NAV) trade — a recursive trade that ballooned the AUM of the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust GBTC and the fees earned by its sponsor, Grayscale Investments, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of DCG.”

5. The Collapse And Path Forward — Without Silbert

Concerning the collapse, Winklevoss is succinct.

Winklevoss: “In June 2022, the music stopped. 3AC collapsed, laying bare the poisonous fruits of this radioactive trade. Despite having earned more than a billion dollars in fees – all at the expense of Genesis lenders – Barry refused to take responsibility. Instead, he resorted to committing fraud to protect his ill-gotten gains.”

Having solidly laid the blame at Silbert’s feet, Winklevoss concludes, “there is no path forward as long as Barry Silbert remains CEO of DCG.”

Winklevoss said that under new management, he is sure that DCG can reach a positive settlement to repair the hurt caused to customers.

###

The letter came shortly after Genesis announced it was cutting 30% of its staff in restructuring. Withdrawals remain frozen and Genesis has revealed it has $175 million in exposure to FTX FTT/USD.

Cover image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

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