Beleaguered cryptocurrency lender Celsius Network staked some $75 million of ether (ETH) last week via Figment, an institutional-grade staking service, blockchain data shows.
According to data by crypto intelligence firm Arkham Intelligence, Celsius – via fourteen transactions between May 10 and May 12 – transferred some 40,928 ETH to an aggregation smart contract labeled as Figment ETH2 Beacon Depositor 1 by blockchain explorer Etherscan. It then forwarded to Ethereum's proof-of-stake Beacon chain's deposit contract.
Figment is a non-custodial service, meaning that Celsius still holds the keys to deposited digital assets, a company representative said in an email.
The manuever represents one of the largest movements of funds for the crypto lender since it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in July.
Celsius was one of the crypto firms that became insolvent after the sudden implosion of blockchain project Terra and the subsequent meltdown of crypto markets a year ago, forcing the company to freeze user withdrawals. As part of the restructuring process, the bankruptcy court is holding an auction to sell the firm and its assets to interested investors including digital asset investment firm NovaWulf and private equity giant Apollo Global Management.
Depositing to a staking service allows Celsius to earn rewards on its digital asset holdings during the restructuring efforts. According to Figment's website, Ethereum staking offers an average of 5.6% annualized staking reward.
Celsius move comes as a surprise because it also operates one of the largest ETH staking pools with some $290 million of assets under management.
“The interesting part is that they decided to stake with Figment instead of their own staking pool,” Tom Wan, analyst at digital asset investment product firm 21Shares, said in a note.
Update (12:33 UTC, May 15, 2023): Adds additional detail.
Update (21:20 UTC, May 15, 2023): Adds comment from Figment. Revises second paragraph to reflect additional detail about Figment being a non-custodial service.
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