By Elizabeth Howcroft
LONDON (Reuters) – Chinese crypto entrepreneur Justin Sun is willing to spend $1 billion of his own funds on buying assets belonging to Digital Currency Group (DCG), the parent company of embattled crypto lender Genesis, Sun told Reuters.
Genesis froze customer withdrawals in November and said it was trying to avoid a bankruptcy filing. It owes its creditors more than $3 billion, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Genesis’ owner, DCG, is also the parent company of several high-profile crypto firms, including crypto asset manager Grayscale, and its website lists more than 160 companies in its venture capital portfolio. DCG is considering offloading parts of that portfolio to raise money, the Financial Times reported on Thursday.
Sun told Reuters in an interview he would be willing to spend up to $1 billion to buy some of DCG’s assets, “depending on their evaluation of the situation”.
Sun did not specify which assets he was considering buying.
His spokesperson did not disclose details of Sun’s wealth, but said it consisted of crypto and traditional currencies.
Digital Currency Group declined to comment.
Sun is the founder of a blockchain network called TRON and an advisor to the crypto exchange Huobi, which last week announced plans to lay off about 20% of its staff.
High-profile crypto players have in the past publicly expressed interest in buying other firms or their assets when there were market concerns about those firms’ financial health, but such deals do not necessarily materialize.
When major crypto exchange FTX faced a rush of investor withdrawals in November, Binance said it had signed a no-nbinding agreement to buy FTX’s non-U.S. unit. A day later Binance said it dropped the plan after doing due diligence.
As FTX sought emergency funding, Bloomberg reported that Sun said he was prepared to provide “billions” in aid. That deal also did not take place.
(Reporting by Elizabeth Howcroft; Editing by Tomasz Janowski)