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Crypto lending platform Celsius files for bankruptcy protection

By Carine Lee


Updated

Celsius on fire
Crypto lending platform Celsius files for bankruptcy protection – Photo: Shutterstock

Celsius Network announced on Wednesday that it has filed for voluntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the US becoming the latest company in the cryptocurrency sector to succumb to the recent plunge in prices.

The crypto lender, with $167m (£141m) in cash on hand, has filed a series of customary motions with the court to allow the company to continue operations and to ensure a smooth transition into Chapter 11, according to a statement.

However, Celsius is not requesting authority to allow customer withdrawals at this time and customer claims will be addressed through the Chapter 11 process.

Celsius is a peer-to-peer platform for decentralized finance (DeFi), allowing users to borrow, lend and trade a broad range of cryptocurrencies, including mainstream ones such as BTC, ETH and MATIC.

MATIC to US dollar

The filing comes after Celsius’ decision last month to freeze withdrawals and transfers, which saw wild price movements. The company cited "extreme" market conditions, leaving its 1.7 million customers unable to redeem their assets.

It was recently reported that Celsius has been making loan repayments since mid-June and has so far repaid $183m of its collateralized cryptocurrency debt to MakerDAO, one of the largest decentralized lending platforms, according to blockchain data.

The debt was repaid in Maker protocol’s native stablecoin, DAI.

ETH/USD

2,990.45 Price
+1.540% 1D Chg, %
Long position overnight fee -0.0616%
Short position overnight fee 0.0137%
Overnight fee time 22:00 (UTC)
Spread 6.00

UNI/USD

11.31 Price
-0.100% 1D Chg, %
Long position overnight fee -0.0753%
Short position overnight fee 0.0069%
Overnight fee time 22:00 (UTC)
Spread 0.08964

BTC/USD

51,667.50 Price
+1.210% 1D Chg, %
Long position overnight fee -0.0616%
Short position overnight fee 0.0137%
Overnight fee time 22:00 (UTC)
Spread 106.00

ADA/USD

0.60 Price
+1.480% 1D Chg, %
Long position overnight fee -0.0753%
Short position overnight fee 0.0069%
Overnight fee time 22:00 (UTC)
Spread 0.00645

Members of a Celsius board special committee said in a statement that the decision to file for bankruptcy is designed to stabilize the company's business and protect its customers. Celsius CEO Alex Mashinsky said: “This is the right decision for our community and company.”

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DAI to US dollar

The New Jersey-based crypto lender listed estimated assets and liabilities on a consolidated basis in the range of $1bn to $10bn, according to a filing with the US Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York.

According to a recent court filing from the crypto lender’s advisory partner Kirkland & Ellis, Celsius has a $1.2b hole in its balance sheet.

The filing with the same court also showed that Celsius has $4.3b in assets, of which about $600m in its CEL token, and $5.5b in liabilities. The crypto lender said in the filing that it has a total market capitalization for CEL of about $170.3m as of July 12.

Index company XOUT Capital CEO and founder David Barse, and fiduciary services firm Drivetrain founder and managing member Alan Carr will be providing Celsius with their leadership and expertise. Both Barse and Carr have more than 25 years experience in business, according to the statement.

Markets in this article

BTC/USD
Bitcoin / USD
51667.50 USD
616.75 +1.210%
ETH/USD
Ethereum / USD
2990.45 USD
45.27 +1.540%
MATIC/USD
MATIC/USD
1.01700 USD
-0.00087 -0.090%
DAI/USD
DAI/USD
1.0244 USD
0.0007 +0.070%

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The difference between trading assets and CFDs
The main difference between CFD trading and trading assets, such as commodities and stocks, is that you don’t own the underlying asset when you trade on a CFD.
You can still benefit if the market moves in your favour, or make a loss if it moves against you. However, with traditional trading you enter a contract to exchange the legal ownership of the individual shares or the commodities for money, and you own this until you sell it again.
CFDs are leveraged products, which means that you only need to deposit a percentage of the full value of the CFD trade in order to open a position. But with traditional trading, you buy the assets for the full amount. In the UK, there is no stamp duty on CFD trading, but there is when you buy stocks, for example.
CFDs attract overnight costs to hold the trades (unless you use 1-1 leverage), which makes them more suited to short-term trading opportunities. Stocks and commodities are more normally bought and held for longer. You might also pay a broker commission or fees when buying and selling assets direct and you’d need somewhere to store them safely.
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