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Genesis and Winklevoss’ Gemini Discussed Merger Plans Before Collapse, Court Filings Show

Tanzeel Akhtar
Last updated: | 1 min read

Digital Currency Group (DCG) founder and CEO Barry Silbert proposed a possible merger of Genesis and Gemini according to an email exchange back in 2022, recent court filings show.

Back then DCG owned the now-bankrupt crypto lender Genesis. If the proposed “commercial partnership” had gone ahead the plan would have been to compete with cryptocurrency exchanges Coinbase and FTX, with plans to then take the company public in 24 months after raising $500-1 billion.

In the email exchange, Silbert said there is the potential to “be a juggernaut” if the two businesses joined forces. DCG’s Silbert had proposed the plan to Cameron Winklevoss in 2022, who was then going to discuss plans with his twin brother, Tyler Winklevoss and come back with thoughts and plans on how best to proceed.

An email from DCG's Barry Silbert filed with the Supreme Court of the State of New York sent in October 2022.
An email from DCG’s Barry Silbert filed with the Supreme Court of the State of New York sent October 2022.

Genesis and the Gemini “Earn” Program

Genesis and Gemini had jointly offered an “Earn” program that allowed customers to earn interest on their cryptocurrency holdings. Genesis had to freeze customer withdrawals in November 2022. In January 2023, Genesis Global filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in New York seeking $1.1 billion on behalf of its Earn program users.

Gemini exchange reportedly withdrew approximately $280 million from Genesis Global just months before the crypto lender initiated a freeze on customer deposits and ultimately filed for bankruptcy.

Genesis and Gemini also faced charges from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in January 2023, alleging that the Earn program constituted an unregistered sale of securities.

DCG Settles Over $1 Billion in Debt 

In January  DCG said it had successfully settled over $1 billion in debt, including the substantial amount of nearly $700 million owed to its bankrupt subsidiary, Genesis.  The announcement came from DCG’s Silbert, who took to the social media platform X to share the news.

The debt settlement process began after Genesis filed a lawsuit against DCG and its affiliate, DCG International Investments (DCIG), in September.