Venture capital firm Digital Currency Group (DCG) has told shareholders it is suspending quarterly dividend payments until further notice to preserve liquidity. The company is focused on strengthening our balance sheet by reducing operating expenses and maintaining liquidity, according to a Jan. 17 shareholder letter. DCG said it was also considering selling some assets in its portfolio.
Its financial woes stem from troubles at subsidiary Genesis Global Trading, which reportedly owes more than $3 billion to creditors. Customers are currently unable to withdraw funds from Genesis after Genesis halted withdrawals on November 16, prompting Cameron Winklevoss to urge DCG’s board of directors on behalf of his exchange Gemini and users who have funds on Genesis to CEO Barry Silbert to remove the company in an open letter dated January 10.
According to Winklevoss, Genesis owes Gemini $900 million in funds it loaned to Genesis under Gemini’s Earn program, which offers customers the opportunity to earn annual returns of up to 7.4%. Winklevoss also claims that DCG owes Genesis $1.675 billion, although Silbert denies this.
Shortly after the Winklevoss letter was issued, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) added fuel to the fire, accusing the two companies of offering unregistered securities through the Earn program on Jan. 12.
The Saga With Genesis Capital and Digital Currency Group
Genesis’ issues first surfaced after the withdrawal freeze on November 16, which it attributed to “unprecedented market turmoil” brought on by FTX’s demise, which led to “abnormal” volumes of withdrawals. Genesis said it had about $175 million trapped on FTX on Nov. 10, less than a week earlier. Digital Currency Group responded by providing Genesis an emergency equity injection of $140 million in an effort to address Genesis’ liquidity problems.
Additionally, DCG controls Grayscale Investments and its family of digital asset trusts. It has also made investments in more than 200 crypto firms, including well-known brands as stablecoin issuer Circle, blockchain analysis company Chainalysis, and digital asset exchange Kraken.