Three Arrows Capital’s Zhu Su speaks out after $400 million liquidation due to Celsius and Terra’s LUNA fiasco

  • Three Arrows Capital currently faces potential insolvency after being liquidated by its lenders. 
  • The firm has backed projects like Avalanche, Polkadot, and Ethereum with double-digit declines over the past month. 
  • Zhu assures the crypto community that Three Arrows Capital is committed to working it out. 

Three Arrows Capital, considered the world’s most successful crypto hedge fund, was considered notorious for pushing the “supercycle” thesis and endorsing Avalanche, Solana, Polkadot, and Terra ahead of their rallies. Now, these assets have seen double-digit losses and Three Arrows seems in trouble. Proponents consider co-founder Zhu Su’s statement cryptic

Did Three Arrows Capital fail to meet a margin call?

This week Three Arrows Capital, a hedge fund established in 2012, started moving crypto assets to top-up funds on DeFi platforms like AAVE to avoid potential liquidations. With Ethereum price plummeting close to $1,000, nearly $81 million in long and short positions was liquidated across exchange platforms. 

Such liquidations triggered by the Ethereum price nosedive could have stressed Three Arrows Capital and risked hundreds of millions in liquidations across multiple positions. The crypto community started speculating about the venture capital firm being unable to meet a margin call. Three Arrows immediately moved around cryptocurrencies to top up their funds. 

Colin Wu, a crypto reporter, revealed that Three Arrows Capital lost $31.37 million through trading on Bitfinex in May 2022. The address marked as 3AC has a collateral position of 211,999.12aWETH (worth $235 million) on AAVE V2 and a total debt of $183 million in stablecoins USDC and USDT. Wu argues that if the Ethereum price plummets to $1,014, the collateral positions will be liquidated. Therefore, 3AC is now paying off its debt. 

The wallet address marked 3AC:

  • used USDT/USDC to repay the debt and withdraw Ethereum
  • converted ETH to USDT/USDC through “sinofate.eth” and repaid it. 

Within a 24-hour period, the address has sold about 50,000 Ether. 

Three Arrows Capital is aggressively paying off AAVE debt

Celsius, a leading crypto lender, shored up positions to mitigate the risk of liquidations and accounts for a significant proportion of the Total Value Locked (TVL) across various platforms in DeFi. Three Arrows Capital is a major borrower, and the collapse of lenders or borrowers in DeFi could have a significant impact on the ecosystem. 

Does Three Arrows Capital face potential insolvency?

The Block reported that, according to well-placed sources, Three Arrows Capital has funded options exchange Deribit, and financial services firm BlockFi, among other bets in the crypto ecosystem. The hedge fund is now in the process of making itself whole with lenders and counterparties after facing liquidations at top-tier lenders in crypto. 

Sources have refused to share the names of lending firms. However, Three Arrows Capital has taken a $400 million hit in liquidation. The sources reported by The Block maintained that the hedge fund maintained limited contact with counterparties since the liquidations. 

Liquidation of multiple positions is one of several concerns the crypto hedge fund faces when projects like Avalanche, Solana, and Polkadot, backed by 3AC, are down 57%, 51.7% and 38.6%, respectively. 

Interestingly, in the colossal crash of Terraform Labs’ sister tokens, LUNC (previously LUNA) and TerraUSD (UST), 3AC sustained significant losses due to heavy investment in the token. 

FatMan, a whistleblower from the Terra Community Forum, revealed that the hedge fund bought 10.9 million locked LUNC (previously LUNA) for $559.6 million, and the investment is now worth $670.45. 

3AC pushed the “supercycle” thesis for most of 2021

Throughout 2021, Three Arrows Capital was considered notorious for pushing the “supercycle” thesis and endorsing Ethereum-alternatives Solana, Avalanche, and Terra ahead of their parabolic price rallies. 

Since then, LUNC (previously LUNA) bit the dust and lost nearly 100% of their value, and Solana and Avalanche both lost 50% of their price over the past year. Crypto Twitter noted that Zhu Su, the co-founder of 3AC, has now removed references to these Ethereum-alternative projects that he endorsed from his Twitter bio. 

Zhu comes out with a statement, suspends rumors 

Zhu broke his silence on the speculation around liquidation and said,

Ryan Selkis, founder and CEO of Messari, argued that 3AC could have started to reposition its balance sheet after being on the

the wrong side of two synthetic trades- with size- in GBTC and stETH.

Selkis believes that with the Ethereum merge coming up, it is likely that 3AC could find underwriters to help the firm through any temporary insolvency. 

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