Silvergate Capital Corp., a crypto bank, is the second-most-shorted stock in the United States according to the latest Short Interest Reporting from February 9, with 72.5 percent of its shares being shorted.
Shorting refers to the practice of betting against the stock by selling shares that are borrowed with the intention of buying them back at a lower price. This means that investors and traders believe that the price of Silvergate's stock will decrease, and they can make a profit from the price decline.
The information about short positions is collected and published every two weeks by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).
As of the time of writing, the stock of Silvergate (S.I.) has decreased by 87 percent in the past year. This negative sentiment towards the stock is due to the company's recent financial performance and ongoing legal issues with regard to its connection with bankrupt Alameda Research and FTX exchange.
On January 17, Silvergate reported a net loss of $1 billion for common shareholders in the fourth quarter of 2022. The loss was a result of significant withdrawals of deposits, which forced the company to find alternative funding sources and sell debt securities to maintain its liquidity, according to a report by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Silvergate is said to have borrowed $3.6 billion from the U.S. Federal Home Loan Banks System to deal with the impact of a surge in withdrawals that occurred after the collapse of the crypto exchange FTX in November.
The bank is currently facing investigations and legal actions in the U.S. for allegations that it aided FTX in fraudulent activities such as lending and mixing customers' funds.
The company is accused of "supporting FTX's investment fraud," and shareholders claim that Silvergate broke the 1934 Securities Exchange Act. The Justice Department is currently conducting an investigation into the bank's involvement in FTX's operations.
Silvergate states that Alameda opened an account with the bank in 2018, prior to the establishment of FTX, and claims to have carried out proper checks at that time and continued to monitor the situation.
The writer is the founder at yMedia. He ventured into crypto in 2013 and is an ETH maximalist. Twitter: @bhardwajshash