The company hired restructuring consultants from advisory firm Alvarez & Marsal regarding a possible bankruptcy filing, people familiar with the matter told the Wall Street Journal.
Celsius said it had 1.7 million users and about $25 billion in assets in October. That number had dropped to about $12 billion in assets under management as of May. The company, which had more than $8 billion lent out to clients at the time, froze withdrawals, swaps, and transfers on June 12 citing extreme market conditions.
“The disclosure exacerbated those conditions, briefly sending Bitcoin’s price below $20,000,” Tracy Wang wrote for Coindesk.
Just a day before Celsius froze withdrawals, CEO Alex Mashinsky dismissed rumors of insolvency as “FUD” or “fear, uncertainty, and doubt” — a term often used in crypto circles to imply deliberate misinformation, Decrypt reported.
Regulators in Alabama, Kentucky, New Jersey, Texas and Washington are “looking at the issue involving the frozen accounts” at Celsius, Texas State Securities Board director of enforcement division Joseph Rotunda told Cointelegraph on June 16.
And Goldman Sachs is reportedly seeking $2 billion in commitments from investors to buy distressed assets at deeply discounted prices if Celsius goes bankrupt, according to Coindesk.
Goldman Sachs is apparently trying to determine interest and soliciting commitments from Web3 crypto funds, funds specializing in distressed assets and traditional financial institutions with plenty of cash on hand, according to a person familiar with the situation, Coindesk reported. The assets, most likely cryptocurrencies that have to be sold cheap, would be managed by participants in the fundraising effort.