New Jersey Piles On: Crypto Lender Celsius Hit With 2 Securities Actions in 1 Day

The Garden State is joining Texas in taking Celsius to task.

Sep 17, 2021 at 5:43 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 18, 2021 at 3:23 a.m. UTC

The BlockFi playbook is in full effect.

Shortly after Texas securities regulators issued crypto lender Celsius with an order to appear in court on Friday, New Jersey is piling on by filing a cease-and-desist order.

“If you sell securities in NJ, you need to comply with NJ’s securities laws. And that includes those operating in the cryptocurrency market,” tweeted New Jersey Acting Attorney General Andrew Bruck. “Our Bureau of Securities has ordered an NJ-based company – Celsius – to stop offering interest-bearing accounts.”

New Jersey and Texas were also among the states to slap crypto lender BlockFi with similar actions in July.

Earlier this week, BlockFi CEO Zac Prince said crypto lenders need federal guidance on the status of accounts that provide interest on crypto deposits. Prince took offense at the piecemeal efforts by state regulators.

“We’re not going to decide what box crypto lending belongs in based on what New Jersey does or what Texas does or what any one other state does,” Prince said at the SALT conference in New York on Monday.

A request for comment sent to Celsius on the New Jersey order was not returned by press time. The company has still not replied to CoinDesk’s earlier inquiry on the Texas matter.

UPDATE (Sept. 17, 17:50 UTC): Clarifies that New Jersey has filed a summary cease-and-desist order.

UPDATE (Sept. 18, 3:23 UTC): Alabama has also taken action against Celsius.

DISCLOSURE

The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

Zack Seward is CoinDesk's deputy global news editor. He holds BTC, ETH, UNI, ATOM and a couple NFTs above CoinDesk's disclosure threshold of $1,000.