Tales From The Crypto: Trapped Celsius Customers Share Financial Horrors
Liquidity-challenged crypto lender Celsius Network filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection earlier this month in the Southern District of New York - over a month after it halted customer withdrawals, citing "extreme market conditions."
The filing came just nine days after crypto broker Voyager Digital filed for Chapter 11 in the same court, following a similar pause in customer withdrawals triggered by the collapse of crypto hedge fund Three Arrows Capital.
According to court filings, Celsius had at least a $1.2 billion shortfall on its balance sheet - with $5.5 billion in liabilities ($4.7bn of which were customer holdings), and $4.3 billion in mostly-illiquid assets, according to CoinDesk, which notes that "Though the company has already begun to make good on its debt to institutional creditors, retail investors have been left in the dark and will likely bear the brunt of Celsius’ failing."
To that end, letters from trapped Celsius holders have been published on the bankruptcy case website, which journalist Molly White (@molly0xFFF) has posted to Twitter.
50: "Like many investors, I have lost a large chunk of my life savings and struggle to live daily with devastation and extreme stress of watching on the sideline feeling powerless over my money, which I entrusted with Celsius to manage."— Molly White (@molly0xFFF) July 21, 2022
More (emphasis ours):
"I am a Celsius customer with a little over $15k worth of deposits that are locked up in Celsius. $15k may not mean a lot to some people, but it is about 65% or my life savings.... Losing all of my savings will have irreparable consequences on the well-being of myself..."
"... and my family. I am ashamed, humiliated, and quite frankly, disgusted, that I put all my trust into a company that has clearly participated in near fraudulent activity. I will be spending years trying to make back the money I lost."
"My life savings were in Celsius. I trusted Alex. I pray and hope everyday you are doing everything in your power to rightfully return deposits back to customers. I can’t tell my wife and kids our retirement and dreams have been stolen from us."
"I left my all of my ETH (about 60 ETH [~$90,000]) on Celsius in hopes for a modest return (not enough to beat current inflation) and now, like others, my ETH is locked and I have no way to access it."
"As a disabled Combat Veteran who served in the Afghanistan Campaign, it hasn’t been easy for me to maintain employment and save money to build a future retirement for my family. So, I have been saving for years to amass the sum that I had in Celsius...."
"... To Celsius I am but a minnow in a sea of whales. My 36k loan to Celsius that took me nearly a decade to save for with dedication and hard work for feels completely insignificant."
"I moved the bulk of these funds into Celsius in February of 2022 because I would Watch Alex Mashinsky on his weekly AMAs published on YouTube. He reiterated time and time again on Twitter and on these AMAs that the company was over collateralized..."
"on numerous youtube 'AMAs (ask mashinsky anything)' and interviews that the yield paid on our cryptocurrency deposits was generated with overcollateralized lending."
"Everything now seems to be a blatant lie. Mr. Mashinsky and the company where deceiving a lot of people, including myself for years. This has an immense impact on my life."
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My God pic.twitter.com/vqyUygy4ZR— Frank Chaparro (@fintechfrank) July 23, 2022