On Jan. 17, 2023, Coindesk reporter Ian Allison published an article disclosing that the Digital Currency Group (DCG) is suspending dividend payments for the time being. It is worth noting that Coindesk, a financial crypto-focused news outlet, is an “independent operating subsidiary” of DCG. Allison’s report cites a shareholders’ letter reviewed by the publication, which notes that the decision was made in response to the “current market environment.”
DCG added that the firm has “been focused on strengthening our balance sheet by reducing operating expenses and preserving liquidity — As such, we have made the decision to suspend DCG’s quarterly dividend distribution until further notice.”
The Coindesk article follows the problems the crypto lending subsidiary of DCG, Genesis Global Capital, has been dealing with over the past two months. On Nov. 16, 2022, Genesis’s lending unit suspended withdrawals and new loan originations. It was then reported that Genesis owes Gemini Earn customers $900 million, and as a result, Gemini also paused withdrawals and recently shut down the Earn program. Additionally, reports detailed that Genesis was being probed by U.S. regulators, and Gemini formed a committee with Houlihan Lokey to resolve the Genesis liquidity issues.
Later, Gemini co-founder Cameron Winklevoss wrote a critical open letter about the subject, and then followed up with another open letter insisting that the DCG board remove Barry Silbert from his role as DCG’s CEO. Silbert responded with a letter addressed to DCG shareholders, in which he dismisses many of the claims made by Winklevoss. The following day, both Gemini and Genesis were charged by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) with conducting an unregistered offering.
DCG owns a vast portfolio of crypto companies, including Coindesk, Foundry USA, Grayscale Investments, and Genesis Global Capital. All of these companies are major players in the space; for example, Foundry USA is the largest bitcoin mining pool in terms of hashrate, and Grayscale manages the largest Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) in the crypto industry.
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