Celsius will be shipping out more than $3 billion to its creditors as the firm's bankruptcy is officially closed.
Apart from the cash, creditors will get a stake in the newly formed Ionic Digital Inc. mining operation, the company said in a statement on Wednesday. About 98% of Celsius Network’s creditors signed off on the plan after 18 months in bankruptcy court. Ionic is expected to become a publicly traded company once it clears approvals.
“When we were appointed in June 2022, everyone assumed Celsius would disappear completely like the other crypto lenders that were filing bankruptcy around the same time,” said David Barse and Alan Carr, members of the special board committee that steered the bankruptcy, in a statement.
They said they managed to secure the platform’s cryptocurrency, negotiate a deal with creditors, reorganize the part of the company that could continue and settled cases with the U.S. Department of Justice, Securities and Exchange Commission and Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
Matt Prusak, the chief commercial officer of Hut 8, the company managing Ionic’s mining, has been named Ionic’s CEO.
In a separate filing, the firm said PayPal and Coinbase will distribute the cryptocurrencies. Celsius will make no distributions through the debtors’ mobile or web applications, which will be shut down on or around Feb. 28.
Crypto lender Celsius’s bankruptcy process also saw it make a $4.7 billion settlement with U.S. authorities over fraud allegations. Former CEO Alex Mashinsky – who had resigned in September, 2022 – was arrested on fraud charges for allegedly manipulating the price of the lender's CEL token, an allegation he has denied.
Mashinsky was released on a $40 million bond, and a court ordered his banking and real estate assets frozen. His trial is scheduled for September 2024.
CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by Block.one; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk offers all employees above a certain salary threshold, including journalists, stock options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.