Canadian Pension Giant Caisse Writes Off $150M Bet on Bankrupt Crypto Lender Celsius

Quebec-based Caisse said Wednesday it had acted "too soon" in entering the sector.

AccessTimeIconAug 17, 2022 at 7:29 p.m. UTC
Updated Aug 17, 2022 at 8:11 p.m. UTC

Michael Bellusci is CoinDesk's crypto reporter focused on public companies and digital asset firms.

The Caisse de Depot et Placement du Quebec pension fund has elected to write off its stake in bankrupt crypto lender Celsius Network, Caisse confirmed Wednesday.

The Canadian fund invested US$150 million in Celsius in the fall of 2021. “Blockchain technology has the potential to disrupt several sectors of the traditional economy. As digital assets grow in adoption, we intend to capture the right opportunities, while working with our partners towards a regulated industry,” Alexandre Synnett, executive vice-president and chief technology officer at Caisse said at the time.

On Wednesday during a webcast discussing the firm’s mid-year results, Caisse CEO Charles Emond said the fund “arrived too soon in a sector which was in transition.”

Emond added that Caisse conducted “extensive” due diligence, before its investment, and is now exploring “legal options.” Celsius is participating in an ongoing bankruptcy case with its creditors.

Caisse, the Canadian pension giant, has net assets of just over $300 billion as of June 30, according to its latest results.

Celsius disclosed earlier this week it was running low on money, and said it has gotten several proposals to inject cash into the company and won approval from a U.S. judge to sell bitcoin (BTC) that it mines.

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Michael Bellusci is CoinDesk's crypto reporter focused on public companies and digital asset firms.

CoinDesk - Unknown

Michael Bellusci is CoinDesk's crypto reporter focused on public companies and digital asset firms.

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