No possibility to withdraw money from own account. This disaster scenario was due to customers of the Celsius Network crypto bank Sunday night, in which the Caisse de depot et Placement du Québec (CDPQ) invested almost $200 million.
• Also read: Bitcoin plunges to its lowest level since late 2020
“If I had been hired by the Caisse to advise them, I would never have joined this company. Never,” regretted Jonathan Hamel, investor and specialist in the world of cryptocurrencies.
On Monday, bitcoin was at its lowest level since late 2020, with the overall market surging below the symbolic $1 trillion mark.
While the Nasdaq lost 16% in a year, Bitcoin plummeted 37% to $29,894, prompting some to want to withdraw their marbles at the same time.
However, last Sunday night, London-based crypto bank Celsius Network, which offers attractive interest rates of 10%, suddenly suspended “all withdrawals, exchanges and transfers between accounts,” according to its Twitter account.
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In the blink of an eye, its two million members with assets in excess of $12 billion were unable to withdraw their wealth.
“Our operations continue and we will continue to share information with the community,” said Celsius, who did not respond to our interview requests Monday.
In the US, Texas, Alabama and New Jersey, Kentucky had already instructed Celsius to stop offering certain accounts, according to Bloomberg.
last october, The newspaper pointed out that Celsius was under the magnifying glass of the Financial Markets Authority, which declined to comment on Monday.
Recall that last year Israeli police arrested the chief financial officer of Celsius, which had just received a $400 million investment led by the Caisse de depot and WestCap.
The arrest has nothing to do with his work at Celsius, but relates to his activities before he joined the company, it said.
The Caisse defends Celsius
On Monday afternoon, the CDPQ defended its investment in Celsius.
“In an environment of general market decline [marchés boursiers et obligations – pour la première fois depuis 50 ans]Investors reduce their risk in all asset classes. In this context, Celsius has been affected by very difficult market conditions in recent weeks, in particular due to the high volume of withdrawals of customer deposits,” said the protocol his spokeswoman Kate Monfette.
“Celsius is proactive in meeting its commitments to its customers [communauté Celsius] and has so far honored its commitments to its customers. Our team is following this file very closely,” she concluded.
The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) made the announcement on Monday protocol that it “does not monitor the Celsius network”. OSFI is a federal agency.