Updated at 10:10 am EST
Silvergate Capital (SI) – Get Free Report shares plunged lower Thursday after it said the collapse of FTX lead to a rush of withdrawals at the crypto lending specialist amid what it called a “crisis of confidence across the digital asset ecosystem.”
Silvergate said in a limited update to its fourth quarter earnings that deposits from digital asset customers fell $8.1 billion over the three months ended in December, compared to third quarter levels, to around $3.8 billion, following the FTX Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing in early November.
The rush to withdraw led Silvergate to sell $5.2 billion of its digital assets at a $718 million loss to their book value in order to maintain liquidity. The lender also said it will cut around 40% of its staff, taking a charge of around $4 million along the way, in order to reduce costs.
“In response to the rapid changes in the digital asset industry during the fourth quarter, we took commensurate steps to ensure that we were maintaining cash liquidity in order to satisfy potential deposit outflows, and we currently maintain a cash position in excess of our digital asset related deposits,” said CEO Alan Lane.
Silvergate shares were marked 47% lower in early Thursday trading immediately following the group’s fourth quarter update to change hands at $11.83 each, a move that would lop more than $320 million from its market value.
FTX, at one time the second largest crypto platform in the world with a market value of around $32 billion, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in early November amid a liquidity crisis triggered by the illegal use of customer deposits to back risky trades made by the group’s wholly owned hedge fund known as Alameda Research.
Its former CEO and founder, Sam Bankman-Fried, has been charged with eight counts of fraud and conspiracy by federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has charged him with building a ‘house of cards on a foundation of deception’ from the world’s second-largest crypto exchange while defrauding investors of more than $1.8 billion in order to expand his business empire and fund a lavish lifestyle that included luxury real estate purchases.