Celsius Sends $500M of Bitcoin Derivative to Crypto Exchange After Debt Payoff
Krisztian Sandor - Coindesk
Beleaguered crypto lender Celsius deposited $500 million in wrapped bitcoin (WBTC), a bitcoin derivative product of the Ethereum blockchain, to crypto exchange FTX just hours after it repaid its debt to the decentralized lending protocol Maker and reclaimed $450 million of collateral in WBTC.
Blockchain transaction data shared by blockchain data firm Nansen shows that a wallet linked to Celsius sent 24,463 WBTC to the FTX in various steps.
Celsius dunking 24k $WBTC (half a billion dollars worth) onto FTX.Nothing to see here. pic.twitter.com/phFcDZXZ7H
— Nansen Intern 🧭 (@nansen_intern) July 7, 2022
Earlier Thursday, CoinDesk reported that Celsius reclaimed 21,963 wrapped bitcoin (WBTC) tokens after it fully paid off its debt to Maker. Celsius already redeemed a 2,000 WBTC installment of the collateral on Tuesday.
FundStrat analyst Walter Teng said that "Celsius' de-leveraging activity on-chain will add sell-side pressure to assets that have been used as collateral," including WBTC, which has been the firm's largest holding pledged against its DeFi loans.
The move suggests that Celsius might sell the assets for more liquid assets, although market data on the exchange did not indicate that it had already happened. At press time, WBTC traded closely in tandem with bitcoin, changing hands at $21,600, up 6% in the last 24 hours.
Celsius halted withdrawals and all user transfers starting in June citing "extreme market conditions," which led to fears that the lender might face insolvency. The firm also hired restructuring advisers, while regulators also started investigations into the crypto lender's operation in several U.S. states.
Last week, the company said in a statement that it was exploring options to "preserve and protect assets" in consultation with experts, which can include “pursuing strategic transactions” and “restructuring its liabilities,” as reported.
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