One of the largest crypto lenders, Celsius Network, told users Sunday night that it is pausing all withdrawals, swaps, and transfers between accounts due to “extreme market conditions.”
“We are taking this necessary action for the benefit of our entire community in order to stabilize liquidity and operations while we take steps to preserve and protect assets,” the company said in a blog post.
Celsius lends out customer deposits to other users to earn a return. The firm managed $11.8 billion in assets as of May 17, according to its website. It offers users annual percentage yields of up to 18.63% on cryptocurrency deposits. The company said it has 1.7 million users. Celsius raised $750 million in funding late last year from investors including Canadian pension fund Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec.
In April, Celsius came under regulatory pressure and stopped offering interest-bearing accounts to nonaccredited investors in the U.S. Some market observers claimed Celsius also played a role in the collapse of Luna and terraUSD cryptocurrencies last month, which Celsius disputes.
Celsius’ announcement came at the tail end of a brutal weekend for cryptocurrencies. In the last 24 hours, bitcoin fell 6.3% to $25,756 as of 12:10 a.m. on Monday, while ethereum lost 6.4% to $1,373, according to CoinDesk data. The global crypto market cap decreased 6.7% in the past day to $1.03 trillion, according to CoinMarketCap data. The price of Celsius’ token plunged 33% to $0.25 in the last 24 hours, according to CoinGecko, a cryto data provider.
Celsius said it hoped to lift its suspension on withdrawals, swaps and transfers “as quickly as possible,” but couldn’t predict when that would happen.
“There is a lot of work ahead as we consider various options, this process will take time, and there may be delays,” it said.
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