Celsius Creditors to Vote on Bankruptcy-Escape Plan After Judicial Approval

Creditors will have a month to mull the sale to Fahrenheit, which court filings say could see them recover 67%-85% of holdings.

AccessTimeIconAug 18, 2023 at 7:13 a.m. UTC
Updated Aug 18, 2023 at 7:15 a.m. UTC

Bankrupt crypto lender Celsius is to hold a vote on its plan to sell assets to the Fahrenheit consortium, after a judge on Thursday approved disclosures that suggested creditors can expect to recover 67%-85% of holdings.

Approval marks a final stepping stone on Celsius’ year-long march out of bankruptcy and the return of funds to customers, in a period which has seen widespread disruption in crypto markets and the arrest of former Chief Executive Officer Alex Mashinsky on fraud charges, which he has denied.

Chris Ferraro, now in charge of the company as interim CEO, said in an emailed statement that “we remain laser focused on creating the best outcome for customers and creditors and returning value as soon as possible,” under a Chapter 11 procedure that started in July 2022 and is being supervised by New York Bankruptcy Judge Martin Glenn.

Creditors will be sent ballots to vote on the plan, involving the sale of assets to a consortium including Arrington Capital and miner U.S. Bitcoin Corp, between Aug. 24 and Sept. 22. Returns for creditors – which will largely be done in bitcoin (BTC) and ether (ETH) – could range from 67% for Earn Account holders to 85.6% for those participating in Celsius’ Borrow Program, compared to just 47% for a liquidation of assets, court filings said.

Other crypto bankruptcy plans have seen creditors vote massively for restructuring plans. In the case of crypto lender Voyager, some 97% of creditors opted in favor of a sale to Binance.US – albeit the buyer then abruptly pulled out following legal delays.

In July, Mashinsky was arrested on charges of securities fraud, commodities fraud, wire fraud and conspiracy to manipulate the price of Celsius' token CEL brought by multiple government agencies. The company itself was not prosecuted as it accepted responsibility and cooperated, and has said a $4.7 billion fine imposed by the Federal Trade Commission won’t affect plans to return funds to customers.

Edited by Parikshit Mishra.


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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.