Celsius auction has Gemini and Coinbase as new bidders: Report

Two new consortiums will dispute the assets of bankrupt crypto lender Celsius Network in an auction scheduled for April 25 in New York. According to reports and court filings, crypto exchanges Gemini and Coinbase are among the companies participating in the bids. 

Court documents show that one of the consortium is Fahrenheit, backed by venture capital firm Arrington Capital, which is owned by blockchain investor Michael Arrington. Other participants in the consortium are Proof Group Capital Management, former Algorand CEO Steven Kokinos and investment banker Ravi Kaza.

Michael Arrington mentioned Coinbase as one of the companies backing the Fahrenheit consortium in a series of Tweets on April 22, according to a report from the Financial Times. The tweet was later deleted, said the newspaper. Coinbase declined to comment.

Screenshot: Michael Arrington’s Twitter thread about Celsius auction 

The second group bidding for Celsius assets is the Blockchain Recovery Investment Committee, which is backed by crypto exchange Gemini, fund manager VanEck, Bitcoin mining firm Global X Digital, and Plutus Lending.

Both the consortiums are disputing the assets with NovaWulf Digital Management, the Stalking Horse Bidder, a term used to describe the first bidder of a bankrupt company – which sets the bar for the other bidders. NovaWulf’s proposal includes a direct cash contribution in the range of $45 million to $55 million, as well as the creation of a new public platform fully owned by Celsius creditors. Customers are expected to recover up to 70% of their funds under NovaWulf’s proposal.

Based on Arrington’s tweets, the Fahrenheit consortium also proposes the creation of a new company “with the sole goal of growing those assets to make stakeholders whole.” The new company will be run by “a group of proven crypto operators”, and hold substantial bitcoin mining assets, retail and institutional loans, a variety of crypto core assets, and a venture capital portfolio, said Arrington.

The auction is a major step for Celsius’ customers to recover their funds. The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in July 2022, after halting withdrawals citing “extreme market conditions” and rumors of insolvency.

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