Steve Kokinos, Creditors Named to Run Celsius 2.0

Executives from WeWork, Lehman Brothers and miner US Bitcoin will serve on the board of the crypto lender’s successor, as will two members of Celsius’ own creditor committee

AccessTimeIconSep 11, 2023 at 9:26 a.m. UTC
Updated May 29, 2024 at 4:46 p.m. UTC

Steve Kokinos, the former chief executive officer of Algorand, is set to become CEO of the company that will take over Celsius’ operations, serving on a board that includes two members of the bankrupt crypto lender's own creditor committee, according to Friday court filings.

Celsius filed for bankruptcy in July last year as the crypto crash started to take effect, and creditors are currently voting on whether to sell the company to Fahrenheit Holdings, a move that could see the partial return of their holdings.

Kokinos left his position at Algorand, a staking-based blockchain, in July 2022. He is a co-owner of Fahrenheit, alongside mining company US Bitcoin and hedge fund Arrington Capital, whose respective executives Asher Genoot and Michael Arrington will also sit on the board.

“Steve has been a serial entrepreneur and investor for over 25 years, founding and operating companies ranging from internet infrastructure, cloud software, communications, and crypto,” according to a brief resumé included in the court documents, which described him as the proposed CEO of the Delaware corporation, as yet unnamed but referred to in the filings as NewCo.

The NewCo board also includes Scott Duffy and Thomas DiFiore, the two co-chairs of Celsius’ creditor committee, which was consulted at major stages of the sale process to represent the interests of those owed money, and which got to appoint six of the nine board members.

Duffy and DiFiore did not deliberate on their own appointment, and the procedure took place “after lengthy discussions with the Committee’s legal and financial advisors,” the filing said.

Other board members include Frederick Arnold, chairman of the holding company that is operating the estate of bankrupt Lehman Brothers; Elizabeth LaPuma, who heads the audit committee at commercial real estate company WeWork; and Emmanuel Aidoo, an investment banker from Perella Weinberg who had previously worked on the deal.

Creditors have until Sept. 22 to approve the sale plan. Celsius’ former CEO Alex Mashinsky was arrested in July on charges of securities fraud and manipulation of the CEL token, and has pleaded not guilty.

Edited by Sheldon Reback.


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Jack Schickler

Jack Schickler was a CoinDesk reporter focused on crypto regulations, based in Brussels, Belgium. He doesn’t own any crypto.