Genesis, a digital asset industry pioneer and leader in digital currency prime brokerage services, today released its Q1 2021 Market Observations Report which highlights major trends across institutional digital asset markets. The report provides a comprehensive look into key market activity through insights from the firm’s spot trading, derivatives trading, lending, custody, treasury and prime brokerage businesses, which facilitated over $60 billion in digital asset trades, loans and transactions across Q1.
“If 2020 marked the beginning of the institutional epoch in crypto, the first quarter of 2021 was a Cambrian explosion of institutional inflows into crypto assets of all stripes,” said Matt Ballensweig, Head of Institutional Lending at Genesis. “Much of our trading volume this quarter came from new market participants, many of whom are corporates taking positions in bitcoin for the first time.”
Genesis is one of the largest digital asset prime brokerages, and the largest institutional digital asset lender. Key highlights from the company’s Q1 performance include:
- Over $20B in new originations this quarter – a 163% increase over the $7.6B originated in Q4 2020.
- An increase in active loans outstanding to $9B – up 136% from $3.8B in Q4 2020.
- A 94% increase in cumulative originations, marking twelve consecutive quarters of growth. This brings Genesis’s total originations to $40B since the launch of its lending business in March 2018.
- $31.5B in spot traded – an increase of 287% from Q4 2020, bolstered by the launch of Genesis Treasury in Q1.
- 133% quarter-on-quarter derivatives trading growth across bilateral OTC and negotiated derivative blocks, to reach $10.5B in notional traded.
- Although Genesis grew its counterparty base by 21% during Q1, higher frequencies of trades and increased notional per trade from crypto-native hedge fund clients were key drivers of growth.
- The Genesis loan portfolio increased substantially in value through a combination of new issuance across cash, ETH, and Decentralized Finance (DeFi) assets alongside a significant rise in asset prices across the existing crypto book.
When viewing its top 100 largest clients by OTC volume traded, Genesis saw volume from corporates increase to over 25% of total activity. “We’ve seen a tremendous amount of interest in our service for treasury executives, Genesis Treasury, and we expect this trend to continue throughout the year,” said Ballensweig.
Genesis also grew its deposit programs through partnerships with Gemini Earn, Luno, LEDN, BitcoinIRA and Circle.
“The entrance of companies like Tesla, MicroStrategy and Square has led to a wave of new interest in digital asset allocation,” said Michael Moro, CEO of Genesis. “We’re continuing to bridge the gap between the digital asset market structure and multi-billion-dollar institutions. In short – the future looks bright.”
Genesis is a wholly owned subsidiary of Digital Currency Group (DCG). In addition to Genesis, DCG is the parent company of Grayscale Investments, the world’s largest digital currency asset manager; CoinDesk, a leading media and events company; Foundry, a financing and advisory company focused on digital asset mining and staking; and Luno, a leading digital asset exchange and wallet.
Genesis is a full-service digital currency prime brokerage providing a single point of access
for global high net worth and institutional investors. The firm offers sophisticated market participants a fully-integrated platform to trade spot, futures, options, borrow, lend, and custody digital assets, creating new opportunities for yield while increasing capital efficiency for counterparties.
Built on the only global over-the-counter trading firm for digital assets registered with the SEC and FINRA, Genesis combines unrivaled operational excellence, a seamless user experience, and best-in-class client service to provide the full suite of services global investors require to manage their digital asset portfolios.