Crypto lending platform Celsius Networks LLC said Sunday it is pausing all withdrawals, swaps and transfers between accounts, “due to extreme market conditions.”
“We are taking this action today to put Celsius in a better position to honor, over time, its withdrawal obligations,” the New Jersey-based company said in a statement.
Celsius is one of the largest crypto lending companies in the world, at one point claiming more than $20 billion in assets. But it has also run afoul of regulators, and some users have recently blamed Celsius for steep financial losses for encouraging them to hold its CEL digital tokens as collateral for loans — CEL plunged 48% late Sunday and has lost more than 75% of its value over the past month, and 97% over the past year, according to CoinGecko data.
The wider cryptocurrency space has been slammed this year, with the total crypto market down more than 40% over the past two months. Bitcoin
for example, slid to an 18-month low Sunday and has lost 45% of its value year to date; it’s off more than 60% since its all-time high-water mark last November.
“We understand that this news is difficult,” Celsius said Sunday. “We are working with a singular focus: to protect and preserve assets to meet our obligations to customers.”
Celsius said its operations were continuing, but that there was “a lot of work ahead as we consider various options.”