Celsius Owed $439M by Lending Firm EquitiesFirst: Report

Celsius first borrowed from EquitiesFirst in 2019 before an overcollateralized crypto loan went sour in 2021.

AccessTimeIconJul 15, 2022 at 1:44 p.m. UTC
Updated May 11, 2023 at 5:42 p.m. UTC
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Beleaguered crypto lending firm Celsius Network is owed $439 million by Indianapolis-based private lending platform EquitiesFirst, according to a Financial Times report, citing two unnamed sources.

  • EquitiesFirst, which was founded in 2002, began offering crypto collateralized loans in 2016.
  • “EquitiesFirst is in ongoing conversation with our client and both parties have agreed to extend our obligations,” the firm told CoinDesk.
  • Celsius began borrowing from EquitiesFirst in 2019. Two years later, Celsius was asked to repay a loan by EquitiesFirst in order for the collateralized crypto to be returned only to be told that it could not be delivered in a "timely basis," according to the report.
  • EquitiesFirst is currently repaying $5 million per month, and the debt is made up of $361 million in cash and 3,765 bitcoin (BTC), worth nearly $79 million at the time of writing.
  • Details of the debt first emerged in Celsius' bankruptcy filing on Thursday, in which it revealed that it had liabilities of $5.5 billion and $4.3 billion of assets.
  • The shortfall may increase as $600 million of Celsius' assets is locked up in the now depleted CEL token, which is trading at $0.80 despite hitting an all-time high of $8.04 last June.
  • Celsius froze withdrawals in June after having liquidity issues amid "extreme market conditions."
  • Celsius was not immediately available for comment at press time.

UPDATE (July 15, 16:15 UTC): Updated with response from EquitiesFirst.


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Oliver Knight

Oliver Knight is a CoinDesk reporter based between London and Lisbon. He does not own any crypto.

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