Three Arrows Capital (3AC) founders Su Zhu and Kyle Davies are nowhere to be found after the cryptocurrency hedge fund went bankrupt.
Beyond filing for bankruptcy earlier in July, the Singapore-based company defaulted on a $670 million loan and failed to repay $270 million to virtual currency exchange Blockchain.com, according to The Verge, even as the company reportedly had $3 billion in assets under management as of April 2022.
According to a July 8 court filing, Russell Crumpler and Christopher Farmer — two senior directors at Teneo, the company managing 3AC’s liquidation — have been unable to make meaningful contact with Zhu and Davies. The firm’s problems occur as leading cryptocurrencies — decentralized digital money that can be transferred between users’ virtual wallets — plummet in price. The price of Bitcoin, for instance, fell from around $48,400 at the end of December to roughly $19,600 as of Tuesday.
The filing said that the liquidity of the firm’s assets increases the likelihood that Zhu and Davies will try to move their funds before investors can access them. “Here, that risk is heightened because a substantial portion of the Debtor’s assets are comprised of cash and digital assets, such as cryptocurrencies and non-fungible tokens, that are readily transferrable,” the document explained, noting that all parties involved “would be irreparably harmed if any disposition of the Debtor’s assets were to occur during the provisional period.”
Crumpler and Farmer said in the filing that they at one point were invited by Advocatus, the firm representing the two entrepreneurs, to join a Zoom call. Though two users named “Su Zhu” and “Kyle Davies” were present on the call, they remained on mute and did not turn on their cameras. Farmer claimed that he also attempted to locate the pair at company headquarters in Singapore but was met with a locked door and a pile of unopened mail. An emergency hearing is scheduled for July 12, according to Reuters.
Zhu broke his silence on Tuesday to post on social media that his “good faith” to cooperate with the liquidators was met with “baiting.” Letters from Advocatus included in his post claimed that Crumpler forfeited rights to acquire tokens from Israeli blockchain firm StarkWare.
Indeed, 3AC is far from the only cryptocurrency firm that has experienced financial issues in recent months. Exchange platform Coinbase is preparing to lay off 18% of its workforce.
“We appear to be entering a recession after a 10+ year economic boom,” Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong said in a recent blog post. “A recession could lead to another crypto winter, and could last for an extended period… Coinbase has survived through four major crypto winters, and we’ve created long-term success by carefully managing our spending through every down period. Down markets are challenging to navigate and require a different mindset.”
Cryptocurrencies are especially popular among younger Americans. The 2022 Investopedia Financial Literacy Survey indicated that 28% of Millennials — those between the ages of 26 and 41 — expect to use cryptocurrencies to support themselves in their retirement. Nearly 20% of Gen Z — those between 18 and 25 — said the same.
“For younger investors, cryptocurrency is clearly not just a fun asset to trade in order to make fast money,” Investopedia editor-in-chief Caleb Silver said. “They are depending on generating returns from cryptocurrency to build wealth and fund their retirement, which is concerning given the lack of education around investing in crypto, and the fact it is still not regulated by the industry.”