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Bankruptcy

Celsius may restructure and issue new token

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Celsius may restructure and issue new token

Celsius may restructure and issue new token Mike Dalton · 26 seconds ago · 1 min read

The company’s plans must still be approved by courts and creditors.

1 min read

Updated: January 25, 2023 at 12:20 am

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Cover art/illustration via CryptoSlate

Bankrupt crypto lender Celsius could soon restructure and issue a cryptocurrency token to compensate users, according to a report from Bloomberg on Jan. 24.

During a court hearing, Celsius attorney Ross M. Kwasteniet said the company could be reorganized into a publicly-traded company with proper licensing. That approach could serve as an alternative to selling the company’s crypto assets — and could be more profitable for creditors given the currently poor crypto market conditions.

Celsius is also working to issue a new cryptocurrency token to compensate the company’s creditors, Kwasteniet said.

Certain creditors are reportedly asking Celsius to follow the lead of Bitfinex, which issued the UNUS SED LEO token in 2019 after losing access to a portion of its funds. Bitfinex committed to a buyback of the token to compensate users.

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CoinFLEX, which went bankrupt shortly after Celsius’ own collapse, similarly issued a recovery token (rvUSD) last summer. That token was tied to the value of the U.S. dollar and offered 20% annual returns to users willing to hold the asset.

Celsius would need approval from a federal judge to issue a token. Furthermore, any restructuring plan would face a creditor vote.

More detailed reports from CoinDesk suggest that Celsius’ would name its new token the Asset Share Token (AST). The token would be issued to high-value creditors. Those creditors could then sell the tokens for immediate profit or hold the tokens to receive interest. Celsius’ remaining smaller investors, who make up about two-thirds of its base, would receive partial compensation in standard cryptocurrencies instead.

Celsius’ original token, CEL, is still in circulation but cannot be used as a reward token as intended because the company has halted its services. CEL’s value is down 77% over the past year. Bitcoin, by contrast, is down just 37% over one year.

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Bankruptcy

SBF tried to meet FTX replacement CEO John Ray

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SBF tried to meet FTX replacement CEO John Ray

SBF tried to meet FTX replacement CEO John Ray Mike Dalton · 4 seconds ago · 2 min read

Sam Bankman-Fried wanted to connect in NYC. John Ray III didn’t respond.

2 min read

Updated: January 30, 2023 at 10:31 pm

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Cover art/illustration via CryptoSlate

Disgraced FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried attempted to meet with the firm’s replacement bankruptcy CEO John Ray III, according to a court filing dated Jan. 30.

That filing disclosed a private message from Bankman-Fried, who contacted Ray on Dec. 30. Bankman-Fried wanted to discuss funds that were being withdrawn from Alameda Research wallets, as reported by various sources at that time.

Bankman-Fried asserted that he had no access to those funds. He warned that a hacker could be responsible if Ray’s own team was not behind the transfer, writing:

“I’ve seen these reports…if this is your team moving the assets to custody, great! If not, I worry it might be a hacker — possibly the same one as a month and a half ago.”

Days later, on Jan. 2, Bankman-Fried followed up on that message by asking John Ray III to meet in New York City. That message, in part, read:

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 “I know things haven’t gotten off on the right foot but I really do want to be helpful… I’m in NYC for the next day. I’d love to meet up while I’m here even if just to say hi.”

Bankman-Fried also contacted an unnamed witness earlier this month, as previously reported. That witness is believed to be FTX US General Counsel Ryne Miller. Neither Ray nor Miller responded to Bankman-Fried’s original messages.

Government prosecutors submitted the relevant messages as part of an attempt to restrict Bankman-Fried’s communications. Prosecutors are concerned that Bankman-Fried could affect witnesses in his criminal case through private conversations. As such, prosecutors aim to prevent Bankman-Fried from using encrypted or self-deleting messaging apps and prevent him from contacting current and former FTX associates.

However, prosecutors did not submit the relevant conversations immediately after making that request on Jan. 27. Judge Lewis Kaplan asked for the prosecutors to submit conversation transcripts by today, Jan. 30, before proceeding. As of Monday afternoon, the judge has not made a decision on whether to impose the communications ban.

Though Bankman-Fried is able to speak publicly and privately, his decision to do so goes against the advice of his lawyers and could harm his defense.

Ray himself has previously complained about Bankman-Fried’s willingness to talk, calling his statements “erratic and misleading” in relation to FTX’s separate bankruptcy case.

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Bankruptcy

BlockFi permitted to auction mining equipment

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BlockFi permitted to auction mining equipment

BlockFi permitted to auction mining equipment Mike Dalton · 2 hours ago · 1 min read

Courts have determined that the bankrupt crypto lender can sell specific assets.

1 min read

Updated: January 30, 2023 at 9:03 pm

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Cover art/illustration via CryptoSlate

BlockFi has gained permission in bankruptcy court to sell its cryptocurrency mining equipment, Bloomberg reported  Jan. 30.

Bloomberg cited statements made by BlockFi representatives during a video hearing today.
The company’s lawyer, Francis Petrie, said:

“We’ve received substantial interest in the market for bidding purposes and current volatility in the cryptocurrency market, which means we need to act quickly.

Petrie said the bidding period for BlockFi’s mining equipment will conclude on Feb. 20. The auction will begin one week later, and any deal that results from the process will be approved in March. The company has reportedly received initial bids already.

BlockFi intends open bidding as soon as possible in order to capitalize on the cryptocurrency market’s recent gains.

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Reports from Bloomberg last week suggest that BlockFi plans to sell $160 million of loans backed by 68,000 mining machines — as opposed to the equipment itself. This sale appears to be a separate auction, as its bidding deadline ended Jan. 24.

BlockFi could sell other assets in order to recover from insolvency, though no detailed plans have been announced in that regard to date. Any assets that BlockFi does not auction will be used in the firm’s restructuring process, Petrie said.

BlockFi is not the only bankrupt company to auction its mining business. Celsius entered an agreement to sell 2,687 mining rigs for $1.34 million this month — and the firm has several thousand other devices that it could potentially auction off.

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Bankruptcy

BlockFi permitted to pay $10M in staff bonuses in spite of bankruptcy

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BlockFi permitted to pay $10M in staff bonuses in spite of bankruptcy

BlockFi permitted to pay $10M in staff bonuses in spite of bankruptcy Mike Dalton · 6 hours ago · 1 min read

The firm retains about 125 employees, according to earlier reports.

1 min read

Updated: January 27, 2023 at 10:35 pm

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Cover art/illustration via CryptoSlate

Bankrupt crypto lending firm BlockFi has been granted court permission to pay nearly $10 million in staff bonuses, according to a filing dated Jan. 27.

The filing does not use the word “bonus” itself. Instead, it refers to an employee retention program and describes additional payments on top of base salaries.

The program will see BlockFi pay up to $9.98 million to a few remaining employees. That amount will be distributed to employees in three installments. There will be two tiers of payment: one which pays employees 42.5% of their base salary amount and one which pays employees 9% of their base salary amount.

Today’s filing additionally notes that BlockFi has been “authorized, but not directed,” to enact this employee retention program. Though the firm will seemingly not be required to pay all or any of its employees, it will need to complete the last of the three payouts within 12 months of court approval if it chooses to proceed with the retention plan.

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The court filing did not state how many employees are eligible for the bonus. However, recent reports suggest that the firm has about 125 employees at present.

BlockFi initially justified its request by stating that its employees would likely be hired elsewhere due to aggressive competition. Statements from BlockFi’s legal representation suggest that the firm’s employees play a critical role in returning assets to investors.

BlockFi’s decision to pay its staff will undoubtedly be controversial because it has not yet fully reopened customer withdrawals. In December, the company began to take steps in court to reopen essential wallet withdrawals while leaving interest-bearing wallets closed. Regardless, all wallets appear to remain frozen as of Jan. 27.

BlockFi’s bankruptcy proceedings are in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of New Jersey. Judge Michael Kaplan is overseeing the case.

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