• February 3, 2023

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Asset manager BlackRock and hedge fund giant Citadel Securities have denied trading the troubled TerraUSD (UST), in separate emails sent exclusively to Forbes.

The comments come on the back of rapidly spreading rumors the financial giants had jointly borrowed 100,000 bitcoin (worth about $3 billion at today’s price) from cryptocurrency exchange Gemini to purchase UST, only to dump the assets causing the market to collapse and wiping out more than $25 billion in the underlying LUNA market value.

Following on a tweet from Gemini posted earlier today, which denied making a 100,000 bitcoin loan to any large institutional counterparties, a Citadel source familiar with the allegations confirmed the company “does not trade stablecoins, including UST.” BlackRock went even further.


“Rumors that BlackRock had a role in the collapse of UST are categorically false,” said BlackRock spokesperson Logan Koffler. “In fact, BlackRock does not trade UST.”

The rumor mill started two days ago when a tweet with a similar message, though notably absent any mention of BlackRock, was retweeted more than a thousand times. At the moment, Forbes has not identified credible evidence to support the claims.

The rumors seem to have gained traction thanks in no small part to both firms’ recent entrance into crypto.

In January, Citadel accepted a $1.15 billion investment from traditional VC firm Sequoia Capital and crypto venture giant Paradigm, which wants to use the firm’s technology to bring credibility to crypto markets, according to a statement. Last year, billionaire Citadel CEO Ken Griffin earned the ire of many cryptophiles when he outbid a group of 17,000 crypto investors to purchase an original copy of the U.S. Constitution.

BlackRock, on the other hand, recently became the primary reserve manager for the cash reserves of another stablecoin, USDC, managed by Circle and Coinbase, and made a strategic investment in Circle’s latest $400 million funding round.

The stakes of the stablecoin collapse were further exacerbated by the rapid rise of the $176 billion cryptocurrency subset, which seeks to use more stable assets like the U.S. dollar or mathematics to compensate for crypto’s notorious volatility. U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen cited the collapse yesterday when she called for stablecoin regulation by the year’s end.


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