Celsius Pays Off Last DeFi Loan, Reclaims Nearly $200M of Wrapped Bitcoin From Compound
Krisztian Sandor - Coindesk
Celsius Network, the embattled crypto lender that is facing liquidity troubles, fully paid off its remaining debt to the decentralized finance (DeFi) lending protocol Compound, freeing up nearly $200 million of pledged collateral.
The firm paid down $50 million to Compound early Wednesday and reclaimed 10,000 wrapped bitcoin (WBTC), a bitcoin-replica token retrofitted for the Ethereum blockchain. The WBTC stake is worth about $195 million at current prices.
Data on the blockchain transaction tracer Etherscan shows that a wallet linked to Celsius transferred 50 million DAI tokens – MakerDAO's dollar-pegged stablecoin – to Compound in two instances. After the downpayments, Compound released 6,900, then 3,100 WBTC tokens to Celsius that had been locked up on the protocol as collateral.
The maneuver followed a similar treasury-management tactic that Celsius used recently to fully pay off and close its loans from the DeFi lending protocols Aave and Maker. The loans on these protocols are overcollateralized, meaning that the borrower has to lock up more digital assets in value than the loan's value.
Paying off overcollateralized loans is theoretically a net positive for Celsius's liquidity, since the move unlocks more assets in value than what is needed to pay down the loans.
Celsius is among crypto lenders crippled by the recent liquidity crisis among crypto firms. The Department of Financial Regulation of Vermont, a U.S. state, alleged the lender is "deeply insolvent." The firm suspended withdrawals, cut jobs and hired restructuring advisors.
However, Celsius has been making good on its debt to DeFi protocols. Since the start of July, it has paid back $223 million to Maker, $235 million to Aave and $258 million to Compound.
As a result, it reclaimed more than a billion-dollar worth of its crypto assets, mostly in WBTC and a type of ether (ETH) derivative token called stETH, which had been stuck on the protocols as collateral.
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