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Bankrupt Crypto Lender Genesis to Repay $3 Billion to Creditors

Summary:
U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Sean Lane approved Genesis Global’s Chapter 11 liquidation plan on Friday, enabling the bankrupt cryptocurrency lender to return approximately billion in cash and crypto to its creditors. This ruling means that its parent company, Digital Currency Group (DCG), will not recover anything from the bankruptcy proceedings. DCG Left with No Recovery Judge Lane’s ruling comes after overruling an objection from DCG, which argued that the repayment to Genesis’ creditors should be capped at the cryptocurrency prices as of January 2023, the time of the company’s bankruptcy filing. At that time, bitcoin was valued at ,084. However, the price has since risen to around ,900. “We don’t buy into the idea that claims are capped at the petition date value,”

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U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Sean Lane approved Genesis Global’s Chapter 11 liquidation plan on Friday, enabling the bankrupt cryptocurrency lender to return approximately $3 billion in cash and crypto to its creditors.

This ruling means that its parent company, Digital Currency Group (DCG), will not recover anything from the bankruptcy proceedings.

DCG Left with No Recovery

Judge Lane’s ruling comes after overruling an objection from DCG, which argued that the repayment to Genesis’ creditors should be capped at the cryptocurrency prices as of January 2023, the time of the company’s bankruptcy filing. At that time, bitcoin was valued at $21,084. However, the price has since risen to around $66,900.

“We don’t buy into the idea that claims are capped at the petition date value,” stated Sean O’Neal, an attorney representing Genesis.

Judge Lane sided with Genesis, stating that even if customer claims were capped at lower prices, the company would still be obligated to pay numerous other creditors.

As a junior stakeholder in Genesis under the Chapter 11 proceedings, DCG finds itself at the bottom of the repayment hierarchy. Lane stated that the recovery process must prioritize creditor claims over the equity stakes held by shareholders like DCG.

“There are nowhere near enough assets to provide any recovery to DCG in these cases,” Lane noted, indicating the multibillion-dollar shortfall that effectively makes DCG’s equity interest worthless.

Genesis attorney Sean O’Neal confirmed that the company is committed to reimbursing customers in cryptocurrency where possible, acknowledging that the available digital assets fall short of the total amount owed.

Genesis’ Bankruptcy Plan

Genesis filed for bankruptcy in January 2023 after suspending withdrawals in November 2022 due to a liquidity crisis. The firm owes over $3.5 billion to its top 50 creditors, including Gemini.

Following its filing, Genesis has been liquidating $1.6 billion in assets after unsuccessful settlement negotiations with DCG and former partner Gemini.

In November 2023, Genesis announced that DCG agreed to repay $324.5 million in loans by April 2024 to resolve a lawsuit filed in September seeking repayment of $620 million in overdue loans.

Genesis proposed a plan estimating that creditors who lent digital assets could recover up to 77%, a higher rate than if DCG had won in court. This proposal gained broad support from creditors, including customers of the Gemini Earn program.

Judge Sean Lane has since approved Genesis’ bankruptcy plan and a related settlement with New York Attorney General Letitia James, redirecting assets to former Earn customers instead of state authorities. Lane also approved a settlement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, ending a complaint over the now-terminated Earn program.

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