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Report: Crypto Hedge Fund Three Arrows Capital Pitched a GBTC Arbitrage Trade Before Rumored Collapse


news.bitcoin.com 22 June 2022 21:34, UTC
Reading time: ~3 m

Last week there was a lot of focus on the crypto hedge fund Three Arrows Capital (3AC) as the firm allegedly had a great deal of leveraged positions liquidated and there’s been speculation about insolvency. According to a recent report, 3AC’s over-the-counter (OTC) operation TPS Capital pitched a GBTC arbitrage opportunity before the company reportedly failed to meet margin calls.

3AC Co-Founder Says ‘Terra-Luna Situation Caught Us Very Much off Guard’ — FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried Insists Problems Like 3AC Couldn’t Have Happened With an Onchain Protocol

Before June 14, which was the last day Su Zhu tweeted, the co-founder of Three Arrows Capital Ltd. (3AC) was very active on Twitter. Since then, Zhu and 3AC co-founder Kyle Davies are not active on social media at all, but the silence has not stopped people from investigating the company. This is because various reports indicate that 3AC positions were liquidated and some reports speculate that the Terra LUNA and UST fallout crippled the company with “massive losses.” The same account indicates that it’s possible that it caused 3AC “to use more leverage to earn it back. Also known as ‘Revenge trading,’” the report added.

On June 17, it was reported by Reuters and the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) that 3AC was “exploring options, including the sale of assets and a bailout by another firm.” Davies spoke with the WSJ and he told the press that the “Terra-Luna situation caught us very much off guard.” Additionally, Michael Moro, the CEO of Genesis Trading, explained on Twitter that the firm “mitigated our losses” against a large counterparty that did not meet a margin call. He also added that no Genesis Trading client funds were impacted.

Then ​​the FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried spoke about 3AC on June 19, and he stressed that issues like 3AC’s financial meltdown “couldn’t have happened with an on-chain protocol that was transparent.” Bankman-Fried’s statement stemmed from a question that asked how the crypto industry can ensure that a 3AC moment does not happen again. 

Report Says 3AC’s OTC Desk TPS Capital Pitched a GBTC-Linked Trade Before the Alleged Collapse

Additionally, The Block reporter Frank Chaparro published a report that said “days before Three Arrows Capital blew up it was pitching investors on a new arbitrage trade.” Chaparro detailed that The Block reviewed investment documents that were allegedly pitched to investors by TPS Capital and the arbitrage opportunity involved GBTC, the Grayscale exchange-traded product tied to bitcoin (BTC). “They pitched to so many people,” an individual familiar with the matter told Chaparro.

“Three Arrows’ pitch was to structure a trade for counterparties that would offer the upside of the discount collapsing as the deadline neared for the SEC decision,” Chaparro wrote. “GBTC currently trades at a 33.75% discount to the price of Bitcoin, which it is meant to track.” Similar to the Celsius situation, the public has not really heard from anyone tied to 3AC. Although, the Celsius Network team did publish a blog post that noted the “process will take time.”


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