Another week, another bankruptcy. Another plan to launch a new crypto exchange. Another several million dollars announced in startup funding.
The drama in the crypto world continued this week in earnest with a number of high profile announcements and market-shifting moves.
Here's The Block's top three stories of the past week:
Genesis files for bankruptcy
America woke up to another crypto bankruptcy filing on Friday morning, this time from the lending unit of Genesis.
After filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York late on Jan. 19, the company published a list of its top 50 unsecured claims. The total value of the claims amounts to more than $3.6 billion.
The list includes numerous claims involving well-known crypto firms. Gemini Trust, which has for weeks been involved in a public spat with Genesis’s parent company Digital Currency Group, tops the list with a claim of $766 million.
Finer details of the filing revealed a complicated relationship with metaverse heavyweight Decentraland, to which it owes $55 million.
Genesis has a roadmap to exit bankruptcy and hopes to do so as "quickly and efficiently as possible," interim CEO Derar Islim told clients on Friday in a letter obtained by The Block.
Ex-3AC founders and an ex-FTX.US president raise funds
People often say a month of news in crypto could tally up to a year of news anywhere else. Redemption arcs also seem to have been placed on fast-forward.
A scoop by Yogita Khatri, Ryan Weeks, and Kari McMahon revealed that founders of defunct crypto hedge fund Three Arrows Capital and crypto exchange CoinFlex are pitching investors on a new crypto exchange focused on claims trading.
News of the fundraise comes two months after exchange giant FTX imploded, leaving more than a million creditors out of pocket. The new exchange takes advantage of the situation offering depositors the ability to transfer their FTX claims to GTX and receive immediate credit in a token called USDG, the pitch deck said.
The exchange’s name is even a spin on “FTX,” with one of the GTX pitch decks opening with the line "because G comes after F."
Meanwhile, former FTX.US president Brett Harrison was cooking up his own new project. His new infrastructure start up named Architect said on Friday it had raised $5 million from investors including Coinbase Ventures and Circle Ventures.
The new firm — for which Harrison has been raising in stealth since he left FTX in September — will provide software trading tools in the decentralized finance space for large investors and institutions. The raise was first reported by Bloomberg.
Zero knowledge becomes the hottest ticket in venture funding
Our deals team has been busy learning about the latest in cryptographic tech development. No fewer than three start-ups developing ZK tech announced funding rounds this week.
Ulvetanna, a startup that builds hardware to increase the efficiency of zero-knowledge-proof generation, raised $15 million in seed funding from the likes of Bain Capital web3 venture firm Paradigm and Jump Crypto.
The equity round, which closed in June last year, valued the startup at $55 million, according to email correspondence from founder Radisav Cojbasic.
Later in the week, the Nil Foundation, which is written as =nil; Foundation, said it had raised $22 million in a round led by Polychain Capital.
The round, which closed toward the end of last year, brings the foundation’s valuation to $220 million and saw participation from other investors including Blockchain Capital, Starkware and Mina Protocol, according to a release.
ZK middleware developer Hyper Oracle ended the week saying it had closed a $3 million round co-led by Sequoia China's seed fund and Dao5. Foresight Ventures and FutureMoney Group also participated in the round, according to a company release.
Disclaimer: Beginning in 2021, Michael McCaffrey, the former CEO and majority owner of The Block, took a series of loans from founder and former FTX and Alameda CEO Sam Bankman-Fried. McCaffrey resigned from the company in December 2022 after failing to disclose those transactions.
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