LONDON: US crypto firm Genesis is working to preserve client assets and strengthen liquidity, it said in a letter to clients on Wednesday (Dec 7), adding that it would take “weeks rather than days” to form a plan.

Genesis’ lending arm, Genesis Global Capital, froze customer withdrawals on Nov 16, citing “unprecedented market dislocation” following the collapse of major crypto exchange FTX.

Genesis, owned by venture capital firm Digital Currency Group (DCG), said last week it was seeking to avoid a bankruptcy filing.

“Working in consultation with highly experienced advisors and in close collaboration with our owner, DCG, we are evaluating the most effective path to preserve client assets, strengthen our liquidity, and ultimately move our business forward,” Genesis said in the letter.

“We anticipate that it will take additional weeks rather than days for us to arrive at a path forward.”

All other parts of Genesis’ business are “fully operational”, it added.

On Wednesday, The Wall Street Journal, citing people familiar with the matter, reported that FTX's new management has hired a team of forensic investigators from advisory firm AlixPartners to help track the billions of dollars that have gone missing from the failed cryptocurrency exchange.

The AlixPartners team is led by Matt Jacques, a former chief accountant for the Securities and Exchange Commission’s enforcement division, according to the report.

FTX did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

Regulators around the globe, including in the Bahamas where FTX is based and in the United States, are investigating the role of FTX's top executives in the firm's stunning collapse, Reuters previously reported.

The crypto exchange filed for bankruptcy last month after a liquidity crisis that saw at least US$1 billion (RM4.4 billion) of customer funds vanish.

Crypto lenders, the de facto banks of the crypto world, boomed during the pandemic, attracting retail customers with double-digit rates in return for their cryptocurrency deposits.

Genesis had almost US$3 billion in total active loans at the end of the third quarter, its website said. Last year, Genesis extended US$130.6 billion in crypto loans and traded US$116.5 billion in assets.

Genesis and Digital Currency Group owe customers of the Winklevoss twins’ crypto exchange Gemini US$900 million, the Financial Times reported on Saturday.

Gemini said in a statement on its website on Nov 16 that it had partnered with Genesis for its yield-generating “Earn” programme, leaving customers of this product unable to redeem their funds when Genesis froze withdrawals. – Reuters