Equitiesfirst Is a Mystery Debtor to Celsius, Owing $439 Million to Crypto Lender

Dave Harvard
Reading time: 3 minutes

Since June 12, when Celsius stopped withdrawals, the company has been in the spotlight because of the lender’s financial problems. A month later, Celsius used the Chapter 11 process to file for bankruptcy in the U.S. Two days after the bankruptcy filing, a report said that Equitiesfirst is the private lending platform that owes Celsius $439 million. This information came from two people with knowledge of the situation.

FT sources claim Equitiesfirst owes Celsius $439M.

In the crypto world, bankruptcy, liquidation, and business failure have been hot topics over the past few weeks. Three well-known crypto companies filed for bankruptcy. These include digital currency exchange Voyager Digital, the crypto lender Celsius, and the crypto hedge fund Three Arrows Capital. Celsius filed for bankruptcy on July 13, 2022, or 31 days after the company stopped withdrawals.

Before Celsius filed for bankruptcy in July, there was talk in the second week of June. As some of its funds were locked into specific decentralized finance (defi) protocols that needed to be changed right away. If not, a lot of its assets would be sold. A few days before Celsius filed for bankruptcy, it was said that the company’s wallets had sent millions of USDC to Compound and Aave to pay off loans.

When Celsius filed for bankruptcy, the paperwork said that a lot of money was owed to Celsius. The Financial Times (FT) reported on July 15 that “Equitiesfirst has been revealed as the mysterious debtor to troubled crypto firm Celsius.” The report says that two people who know the situation said that Equitiesfirst owes the crypto lender $439 million.

An investment company

Equitiesfirst is an investment company that has been around since 2002. According to the company’s website, it “specializes in long-term asset-backed financing.” Equitiesfirst manages stocks, but since 2016, it has also dealt with some cryptocurrencies. In April 2022, Johnny Heng, the managing director and head of Equitiesfirst Singapore, talked about cryptocurrencies.

“We used to be pure equities, until some six years ago, we started to offer loans against cryptocurrency as well, and that activity has really taken off [in] the past year or two,” Heng told hubbis.com in an interview. Speaking with FT, an Equitiesfirst spokesperson said: “Equitiesfirst is in [an] ongoing conversation with our client and both parties have agreed to extend our obligations.”

Celsius network (CEL) token investors tried to sell the company’s native token before it went bankrupt. But after the bankruptcy filing, the CEL fell against the U.S. dollar by 58 percent before it rose again. July 16, 2022, shows that CEL has gained more than 30 percent in the last 30 days, despite its volatile market.

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