Taking a bit of the spotlight off of Sam Bankman-Fried and FTX for a bit, we give the stage to an unlikely hero: cue Bitcoin Jesus. Yes, you heard me correctly, ‘BitCoin Jesus’ is the name of an acclaimed and now internet-famous investor known for his founding of the domain-rich bitcoin.com.
Known for his evangelistic methods and charismatic way of selling Bitcoin to non-believers, the holy man himself is in trouble because of his connection with the Winklevoss Twin’s Genesis and the money he owes them.
The Winklevoss-led Genesis issued a summons on January 23 to Roger Ver, claiming the Bitcoin advocate owes it over $20 million.
What Was in the Summons to Ver?
According to the filing, Ver incurred this debt by trading cryptocurrency options, which expired on December 30, 2022. He had 20 days to answer the summons. Genesis is seeking damages and for Ver to pay the company’s legal expenses in its action against him.
Roger Ver is an early Bitcoin investor and influencer, and this isn’t the first time a crypto company has accused Ver of defaulting on his obligations.
In June 2022, crypto exchange CoinFLEX announced that Ver owed the company over $47 million. He denied the accusation, claiming that it was CoinFLEX that owed him funds. CoinFLEX monetized its liability by creating a token, rvUSD. While it is officially named Recovery Value USD, the coin also bears Roger Ver’s initials).
More Details about Genesis
Genesis is a subsidiary of Digital Currency Group. The crypto lending company froze loan originations and redemptions on November 16, citing “extreme market dislocation” due to FTX’s spectacular collapse and the industry-wide panic it brought. Genesis filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last week; the company owes over $3.5 billion to its top 50 creditors.
Gemini co-founder Cameron Winklevoss has claimed in various open letters that Genesis owes Gemini Earn clients over $900 million; he has also accused Digital Currency Group CEO Barry Silbert and Genesis of defrauding lenders.
Will Crypto Jesus Pay Back Genesis?
In a Reddit post earlier this week, Crypto Jesus said that he has “sufficient funds” to pay now-bankrupt crypto broker Genesis the $21 million he owes but argued that he doesn’t have to.
“I have sufficient funds on hand to pay Genesis the sums allegedly owed, and I’m happy to pay what I actually owe. However, Genesis was required by our agreement to remain solvent—as Genesis can’t ask its clients to play a “heads clients lose, tails Genesis wins” game,” he wrote in response to a post in the Bitcoin subreddit asking, “Did Roger Ver get rekt?”
Ver had it out with CoinFLEX last year in a similar fashion. The crypto trading platform halted withdrawals in June, citing liquidity problems. It was a common refrain from companies at the time, who were dealing with the fallout from multiple bankruptcies.
CoinFLEX CEO Mark Lamb claimed on Twitter that Ver owes the company $47 million and said he’d already been issued a default notice for failure to pay up.
Ver called the claim “blatantly false,” adding that CoinFLEX owed him money, not the other way around.
“Not only do I not have a debt to this counter-party, but this counter-party owes me a substantial sum of money, and I am currently seeking the return of my funds,” he wrote on Twitter.
In the grand scheme of things, will this matter in a few months when we are out of crypto winter and everyone’s portfolios are back in the green? Probably not, but in the meanwhile, we welcome any distraction from the usual humdrum of the ongoing FTX debacle and the dominos proceeding to fall after it.