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November 25, 2020

In Conversation With

How there was no way to prepare for Black Thursday with Genesis Trading


While many companies are just trying to stay afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic, digital currency prime brokerage Genesis Trading is in expansion mode. In addition to its trading and lending businesses, the company recently moved into prime brokerage with the acquisition of UK-based custodian Vo1t. (10:53) Genesis has been around since 2013, when the BTC price was hovering at USD 80 and has had the discipline to operate throughout different market cycles.

(13:47) Genesis CEO Mike Moro describes how it feels as though they’ve been in a prolonged bull market since 2018, which has tested the mettle not only of the market but also its customers. But nothing could have prepared him for Black Thursday, which took the cryptocurrency market by storm in mid-March 2020.

(14:51) Moro recalls how the broader market volatility had begun in other markets prior to reaching Bitcoin, starting with the price of oil. The sell-off then spilled over to equities and bond markets, and given a market correlation of 1 during times of crisis it eventually reached the crypto market.

“We had our antennas up for sure that something could happen in bitcoin,” he said, adding: Black Thursday is something we couldn’t have been ready for or expected.” (15:23)

Genesis made it through unscathed with no defaults, though Moro recalls “it was operationally very stressful…It was certainly a tremendous stress test for the systems and also for our people to get through it.”

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Gerelyn Terzo
Gerelyn caught wind of bitcoin in mid-2017 and after learning about the peer-to-peer nature of Satoshi's creation has never looked back. Previously she covered institutional investing and fintech for several major trade publications. Gerelyn resides in Verona, N.J.

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