‘Bitcoin Jesus’ Roger Ver Spars With Crypto Exchange CoinFlex Over Margin Call

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(Bloomberg) — A pub­lic dis­pute between a long­time cryp­to investor and a dig­i­tal-asset exchange is the lat­est in a series of mini-crises that have rocked cryp­to mar­kets in recent weeks.

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Coin­Flex, a cryp­to exchange, on Tues­day named Roger Ver as the coun­ter­par­ty who failed to pay $47 mil­lion of sta­ble­coin in a mar­gin call. Coin­Flex had pre­vi­ous­ly dis­closed a liq­uid­i­ty issue that led to the exchange paus­ing with­drawals. Coin­Flex CEO Mark Lamb said in a tweet that the com­pa­ny served Ver, who is an investor in the exchange and was an ear­ly pro­mot­er of Bit­coin, with a notice of default.

“I have no debt to Coin­Flex,” Ver told Bloomberg in an emailed state­ment. Lat­er, he tweet­ed that “some rumors have been spread­ing that I have default­ed on a debt to a counter-par­ty,” with­out nam­ing Coin­Flex specif­i­cal­ly. Ver said the rumors weren’t true, instead say­ing the coun­ter­par­ty owed him “a sub­stan­tial sum of mon­ey, and I am cur­rent­ly seek­ing the return of my funds.” Lamb in turn respond­ed on Twit­ter, say­ing Ver’s tweet is fac­tu­al­ly incor­rect and Coin­Flex owes him no funds.

A broad-based sell­off in dig­i­tal assets and the col­lapse of high-pro­file tokens have caused rip­ple effects across the indus­try. Major lenders Cel­sius Net­work and Babel Finance have frozen with­drawals, and Three Arrows Cap­i­tal, a cryp­to hedge fund, is also fac­ing liq­uid­i­ty trou­bles that have rat­tled investors.

Read More: Crypto’s $2 Tril­lion Shake­out Por­tends Lehman Moment

Coin­Flex on Mon­day announced a plan to make up the short­fall trig­gered by the default by issu­ing a new token that will offer a 20% annu­al return. The resump­tion of with­drawals, tar­get­ed for June 30, will depend on the lev­el of demand for the new tokens.

Ver earned the nick­name “Bit­coin Jesus” for pros­e­lyt­ing about the world’s largest cryp­tocur­ren­cy in its ear­ly days. He has invest­ed in sev­er­al Bit­coin-relat­ed star­tups, and has become one of the most vocal advo­cates of Bit­coin Cash. He is co-founder and investor at Blockchain.com, a cryp­to wal­let and an exchange which recent­ly raised a round of fund­ing. In a YouTube video last year with Lamb, Ver dis­cussed the yield earn­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties at CoinFlex.

Found­ed in 2019, Coin­Flex is a small­er cryp­to exchange focus­ing on deriv­a­tives trad­ing, with less than $200 mil­lion in total val­ue locked, accord­ing to its website.

In a pre­vi­ous update, Coin­Flex said while it would typ­i­cal­ly liq­ui­date any neg­a­tive equi­ty account, the client at issue had a non-liq­ui­da­tion recourse account. No oth­er accounts are in neg­a­tive equi­ty, it added.

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