Embattled crypto lender, Celsius, has laid off 150 employees, representing a quarter of its workforce, according to the latest reports.
Israeli news outlet Calcalist reported some of the employees laid off are in Israel. The company, which has its headquarters in the U.S. but with offices in Israel and UK, has neither confirmed nor denied this.
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The news comes two days after the crypto lender published a blog post stating that it is working to stabilize liquidity and operations. Calcalist claimed that the firm did not respond to requests for comment.
Celsius froze withdrawals on its platform on June 13, citing liquidity issues. Since then, several other crypto companies have followed suit, most having exposure to Celsius itself.
The company said:
We continue to take important steps to preserve and protect assets and explore options available to us. These options include pursuing strategic transactions as well as a restructuring of our liabilities, among other avenues.
Celsius’ depositors losing hope
With the lender not providing new information, depositors who cannot access their funds are losing hope. According to a recent Wall Street Journal report, many of these depositors have their life savings inside Celsius.
Celsius has given no updates about when it would resume withdrawals after three weeks, and many now wonder if they will ever get their funds again.
Since it stopped withdrawals, the company has hired Alvarez & Marsal restructuring consultants. It also appointed Citigroup to provide financial advice.
But that is yet to translate into any concrete move. Reports claim that several firms, including competing lender NEXO and leading financial institution Goldman Sachs, are considering buying its assets. Goldman Sachs has reportedly raised $2 billion for that purpose.
Additionally, sources close to the matter claim that crypto exchange FTX considered providing financial support, but pulled out after seeing a $2 billion hole in Celsius’ finances.
While there have been no concrete communications from the company, some shareholders appear to be losing patience. Recently, BnkToTheFuture submitted a Depositor First proposal to save Celsius.
According to its CEO, Simon Dixon, it would call a shareholder meeting to discuss the proposals and hear from the Celsius board. BnkToTheFuture owns a 5% stake in Celsius.
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