Roger Ver, CEO of Bitcoin.com.
Anthony Kuan | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Digital asset exchange CoinFlex is locked in a public battle with longtime cryptocurrency investor Roger Ver over $47 million in debt, mirroring the latest saga to unfold amid the stock market crash.
On Tuesday, CoinFlex CEO Mark Lamb named Roger Ver, who earned the nickname “Bitcoin Jesus” for his evangelical views early in the industry, as an investor who didn’t pay $47 million. USDC stablecoin dollars in a margin call.
USDC is a one-to-one stablecoin pegged to the US dollar. A margin call is a situation where an investor must commit more funds to avoid losses on a trade made with borrowed money.
CoinFlex suspended withdrawals for customers last week. Lamb revealed on Monday that an individual investor’s account had entered “negative equity.” The company would typically automatically liquidate that investor’s positions. But this particular investor had a deal with CoinFlex that didn’t allow that to happen.
In return, the investor promised “strict personal guarantees regarding account equity and margin calls in exchange for non-liquidation,” CoinFlex said.
At the time, Lamb did not name the investor. But on Tuesday, the CEO of CoinFlex claimed that it was Ver who owed the company money. Lamb said Ver received a default notice.
“He had a long history of increasing margin and meeting margin requirements in accordance with this agreement. We spoke to him frequently on calls about this situation in an effort to resolve it. We would still like to resolve it” , Lamb said in a tweet.
But Ver denied being the investor behind the debt. Ver said a counterparty owed him “a substantial amount of money” and that he was “currently seeking the return” of his funds.
CoinFlex’s Lamb said the debt is “100% related” to Ver’s account and said the company “denies that we are indebted” to Ver.
“His statement is patently false. It is unfortunate that Roger Ver needs to resort to such tactics to deflect from his commitments and responsibilities,” Lamb said.
Ver has been active in the cryptocurrency industry for over a decade, investing in several companies and co-founding Bitcoin.com and Blockchain.com.
On Monday, CoinFlex announced plans to issue a new coin called Recovery Value USD, or rvUSD, to fill the $47 million shortfall. The company is offering 20% interest on the coin to attract investors.
The CoinFlex-Ver saga is the latest drama to unfold following a crash in cryptocurrency prices over the past few weeks that wiped billions of dollars of market value in a period dubbed a new “crypto winter”.
Three Arrows Capital, a hedge fund investing in digital assets, plunged into liquidation, CNBC reported on Wednesday. Meanwhile, a number of companies, including lending company Celsius, are facing a liquidity crunch and crypto companies have suffered layoffs.