Three Arrows Capital failed to meet demands from lenders to stump up extra funds after its digital currency bets turned sour, tipping the prominent crypto hedge fund into a crisis that comes as a credit crunch grips the industry.
The group’s failure to meet margin calls this past weekend makes the group the latest victim of an acute fall in the prices of many tokens such as bitcoin and ether that is rippling across the market. Singapore-based Three Arrows is among the biggest and most active players in the crypto industry with investments across lending and trading platforms.
Lenders have sharply tightened up how much credit is on offer following tremors over the past month. Celsius, a major crypto financial services company, blocked withdrawals last week, while a pair of major tokens collapsed in May.
US-based crypto lender BlockFi was among the groups that liquidated at least some of Three Arrows’s positions, meaning it reduced its exposure by taking collateral the fund had put down to back its borrowing, according to people familiar with the matter.
Three Arrows, which made a “strategic” investment in BlockFi in 2020, had borrowed bitcoin from the lender, the people said, but had been unable to meet a margin call. One of the people said the liquidation had occurred by mutual consent.
“We are in the process of communicating with relevant parties and fully committed to working this out,” said Su Zhu, Three Arrows co-founder, on Twitter on Wednesday, without specifically identifying any counterparty. The company did not respond to a request for comment.
Yuri Mushkin, BlockFi’s chief risk officer, said the group “can confirm that we exercised our best business judgment recently with a large client that failed to meet its obligations . . . We believe we were one of the first to take action with this counterparty.”
He added that BlockFi had held collateral in excess of the size of the loan.
“BlockFi’s prudent and proactive risk…
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