Galaxy Digital Wins Auction to Buy GK8 From Bankrupt Crypto Lender Celsius

The self-custody platform acquired by Celsius over a year ago was put on the block following the lender's bankruptcy filing in July.

AccessTimeIconDec 2, 2022 at 1:47 p.m. UTC
Updated May 9, 2023 at 4:03 a.m. UTC
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Mike Novogratz's cryptocurrency-focused financial-services firm Galaxy Digital has won an auction to buy self-custody platform GK8 from bankrupt crypto lender Celsius Network, Galaxy said in a press release Friday.

Terms of the deal weren't disclosed, but Galaxy spokesman Michael Wursthorn said the price was materially less than what Celsius paid a year ago. Celsius acquired GK8 in November 2021 for $115 million, as reported.

Bloomberg reported earlier on the Galaxy-GK8 deal.

Galaxy's aim with the acquisition is to expand its prime brokerage offering. Around 40 people would be joining Galaxy's team, including blockchain engineers and cryptographers.

The deal, which is subject to regulatory approval, would expand Galaxy's global footprint with a new office in Tel Aviv, Israel, the firm said.

"Adding GK8 to our prime offering at this pivotal moment for our industry also highlights our continued willingness to take advantage of strategic opportunities to grow Galaxy in a sustainable manner," Novogratz, who is the founder and CEO of Galaxy, said in the release.

Following a downturn in the crypto market, Celsius filed for bankruptcy protection in July and put a few of its assets up for sale.

Galaxy, for its part, abandoned its plan to buy crypto custody specialist BitGo for $1.2 billion. At the time in August, Galaxy said that BitGo had failed to provide financial statements by a deadline of July 31. The cancellation of the deal prompted BitGo to sue Galaxy for damages in September.

UPDATE (Dec. 2, 14:08 UTC): Adds confirmation from Galaxy Digital and other details.

UPDATE (Dec. 2, 14:41 UTC): Adds additional background information and other details.

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