Celsius weighs bankruptcy filing as crypto trader crisis grows

The bitcoin price fell a further 4% over the past 24 hours to hit £17,017 as its market cap dropped below £335 billion.  (REUTERS)

Beleaguered crypto lender Celsius Network is exploring a possible bankruptcy filing as it becomes the latest victim of the crash in the sector.

The New Jersey-based company is understood to have called in law firm Kirkland & Ellis for restructuring advice as it considers options for its survival, according to the Wall Street Journal.

It comes after Celsius suspended customer transfers and withdrawals on its platform citing “extreme market conditions”.

The company said in a blog post: “We are taking this necessary action for the benefit of our entire community in order to stabilise liquidity and operations while we take steps to preserve and protect assets.”

“There is a lot of work ahead as we consider various options, this process will take time, and there may be delays.”

Last week, Celsius reportedly faced a lawsuit by a former investment manager at the company, who claimed the firm failed to properly hedge risk and manipulated the price of its own token.

To date Celsius has not publicly responded to accusations brought by the lawsuit.

The price of bitcoin fell a further 4% over the past 24 hours to hit £17,017 as its market cap dropped below $400 billion (£335 billion), according to data from CoinMarketCap. Bitcoin has fallen over 51% since the start of 2022.

Last week, New York-based cryptocurrency broker Voyager Digital filed for bankruptcy after hedge fund Three Arrows Capital defaulted on a $675 million loan from the company, while crypto mining business Compass Mining fired 15% of its workforce and slashed executive pay.

Celsius network has 1.7 million customers with $12 billion in assets under management as of May.