Michael Moro, the CEO of Genesis Trading, is stepping down from his position as pressure mounts from exposure to Three Arrows Capital (3AC).
A household name in institutional crypto lending and prime broking, the New York firm has also announced a 20% staff reduction starting on Aug. 17, 2022.
This comes hot on the heels of an announcement by the company that it had lent $40 billion in the second quarter, down 9% from the first quarter, as the institutional interest in borrowing cooled amidst a downturn in the crypto market. The crypto market has dipped from a peak of around $3 trillion to about $1.12 trillion at press time.
Genesis’ trading in derivatives dropped 4% from the first quarter.
Continued commitment to operational excellence
The Chief Operating Officer will take over the CEO role for the time being. At the same time, the company seeks a permanent replacement for Moro, who will function in an advisory capacity during the recruitment process. Tom Conheeny will join the Genesis board, along with risk, compliance, and technology executives.
Derar Islim, the Chief Operating Officer, said that the board reorg and staff reduction were part of the company’s continued commitment to operational excellence.
Moro, a former Citi executive, said it was an honor to lead the company for almost a decade since it opened a bitcoin trading desk in 2013.
Under Moro’s watch, Genesis acquired Qu Capital, a quant trading firm, and Vo1t, a digital currency custodian. It also established a presence in London, New York, and Singapore.
Genesis parent DCG took on its liabilities
Genesis announced exposure to 3AC in July 2022 and sold the hedge fund’s collateral after it failed to respond to a margin call. Genesis had required an average margin of over 80% from the Singaporean hedge fund that recently filed for bankruptcy and was required to liquidate by a British Virgin Islands court.
The parent company of Genesis, Digital Currency Group, took on some of the lender’s liabilities to enable it to continue operation.
Genesis lends to crypto companies looking to open short positions on digital assets or lock up crypto to earn yield.
Genesis joins Coinbase, Crypto.com, Bitpanda, and Blockchain.com, which have made staff reductions in response to decreasing user engagement and revenue.
Deribit, a company specializing in crypto derivatives, a product currently not offered by U.S.-based exchanges, was among creditors supporting the 3AC liquidation. Blockchain.com also chipped in.
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