Key points to remember
- Celsius has denied reports that its CEO, Alex Mashinsky, tried to leave the United States this week.
- On Sunday, reports that Mashinsky had attempted to leave the United States via an airport in New Jersey began circulating.
- Celsius is facing a liquidity crunch: It closed withdrawals more than two weeks ago and is under investigation by regulators.
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Celsius has denied that its CEO, Alex Mashinsky, attempted to leave the United States this week amid the company’s liquidity crunch.
Celsius denies the departure of the CEO
In a statement sent to various news sites, Celsius said “All…employees, including our CEO, are focused and working hard with the goal of stabilizing cash and operations.”
He specifically added that “any report that the CEO of Celsius [Alex Mashinksky] attempted to leave the United States are false.
On Sunday, Mike Alfred, founding CEO of crypto analytics firm Digital Assets Data,claimed that Mashinsky had attempted to leave the United States via Morristown Airport in New Jersey.
Alfred said Mashinksky was arrested by airport authorities. He said it was unclear whether the CEO “was arrested or simply banned from leaving”, but speculated that Mashinksky had probably “already been contacted by the FBI”.
Although there have been no other reports that the FBI is investigating Celsius and its employees, the company is under investigation by at least four state regulators. As such, Mashinsky has plausible cause to leave the country if he intends to avoid participating in these investigations.
Yet with a denial from Celsius and no other accounts matching Alfred’s claims, there is little evidence that Mashinsky attempted to leave the country or was personally apprehended.
Celsius withdrawals are still closed
Celsius suspended withdrawals, transfers and trading on Sunday, June 12, citing extreme market conditions as a problem.
The company’s inability to redeem customer balances has continued for more than two weeks with no end in sight.
Some reports indicate that Celsius has brought in legal consultants to help it prepare for potential bankruptcy filings. Others suggest that Goldman Sachs could buy Celsius’s assets.
It is unclear whether either action would help users access their funds, or whether these actions would lead to a longer settlement process between Celsius and its users.
It’s also possible that Celsius could recover on its own by adjusting its investments to earn more cash, arguably the best outcome for its clients.
Disclosure: At the time of writing this article, the author of this article owned BTC, ETH, and other cryptocurrencies.