Celsius Reportedly Taking Advice from Citigroup, CEO Mashinsky Calls for ‘Patience’ and ‘Support’
The ailing crypto lender Celsius Network (CEL) has reportedly hired the financial giant Citigroup to advise it on its options after Celsius suspended withdrawals, swaps, and between-account transfers earlier this week. Meanwhile, Celsius’ under-fire CEO Alex Mashinsky has returned to Twitter.
Per the media outlet The Block, two unnamed “people familiar with the matter” claimed that Citigroup is now “helping Celsius assess its options.”
The sources allegedly claimed that Celsius had sought Citigroup’s help in “an advisor[y] capacity” on matters including “potential financing.”
Citigroup declined to comment when contacted by Cryptonews.com. Celsius has also been contacted for comment.
One of the sources reportedly told the media outlet that “Citigroup and Celsius are not new to each other,” and that Citigroup had advised Celsius on matters pertaining to its mining subsidiary. The two have reportedly spoken about Celsius’ plans to go public via an initial public offering (IPO).
The two parties will also reportedly discuss financing offers such as the one on the table from Nexo (NEXO), a rival crypto lender. Nexo has bid for the right to take control of Celsius’ “remaining qualifying assets” – including the latter’s “collateralized loan portfolio.”
However, the sources urged caution. One was quoted as stating:
“It’s not like Citi is going to give Celsius money out of their balance sheet.”
The news comes hot on the heels of a Wall Street Journal report yesterday that also quoted “people familiar with the matter” as stating that Celsius had “hired restructuring attorneys” from the law firm Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld.
The legal firm, which specializes in bankruptcy-related cases, has allegedly been hired to “advise on possible solutions” for Celsius’ “mounting financial problems.”
Meanwhile, Alex Mashinsky has returned to Twitter for the first time since June 12 to call for “patience” and “support.”
On June 12, a day before Celsius announced the suspension of withdrawals, Mashinsky refuted claims that Celsius’ “accounts” had been “locked,” accusing a Twitter user who was writing about the matter of spreading “FUD [fear, uncertainty, doubt] and misinformation.”
Since June 13, however, Mashinsky dipped below the radar – before resurfacing on the evening of June 15 to claim that his team was now working non-stop to resolve the company’s issues. He explained:
“We’re focused on your concerns and thankful to have heard from so many. To see you come together is a clear sign our community is the strongest in the world. This is a difficult moment; your patience and support mean the world to us.”
Replies were plentiful, with some claiming that their “life savings” were in Celsius’ hands. One Twitter user claimed that it took them “four years and working 100 hours every week to save” for the money they had locked up in Celsius. The poster added that they now “can’t sleep” for worry.
The arch-crypto skeptic and gold advocate Peter Schiff was also keen to make his voice heard – as is often the case when the crypto markets suffer volatility.
Schiff and Mashinsky have clashed on many occasions in the past, and the former took the opportunity to launch a barb at the Celsius chief, writing:
“When you and I debated […], I pointed out that you must be taking a lot of risk with your deposits to pay such high interest on crypto. You denied that was the case and assured me and any of your customers who were listening that you didn’t take any risk!”
At 8:07 UTC on Thursday morning, CEL is trading at USD 0.5, up 5.1% in a day and down over 25% in a week.