Coinbase, Gemini take center stage in upcoming Celsius auction
The fate of Celsius Network, a crypto lending platform that went bankrupt last year, will be decided by auction on April 25 in New York, and two new consortiums have joined the bidding war for the company’s assets, which include bitcoin mining equipment, crypto loans, and a venture capital portfolio.
According to a notice of auction filed in the US Bankruptcy Court in the Southern District of New York, the new bidders are backed by significant crypto players such as Gemini, Coinbase, VanEck, and Arrington Capital.
One of the consortiums mentioned in the court documents is called Project Fahrenheit and is led by Arrington Capital, a venture capital firm founded by Michael Arrington, a prominent blockchain investor and former TechCrunch editor.
Arrington reportedly tweeted on April 22 that Coinbase was one of Fahrenheit’s backers but later deleted the tweet.
However, Coinbase had not yet commented on the matter before going to press.
Other members of Project Fahrenheit are Proof Group Capital Management, former Algorand CEO Steven Kokinos, and investment banker Ravi Kaza.
The other consortium looking to make a play for Celsius’s assets is the Blockchain Recovery Investment Committee, supported by Gemini, a crypto exchange founded by the Winklevoss twins.
The Blockchain Recovery Investment Committee also includes VanEck. This fund manager has filed for a bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF), Global X Digital, a bitcoin mining company, and Plutus Lending, a crypto lending platform.
New bidders to take on NovaWulf
The two new consortiums will compete with NovaWulf Digital Management, which offered Celsius Digital assets initially.
The so-called stalking horse bidder has offered to pay between $45 million and $55 million in cash and to create a new public platform owned by Celsius creditors.
NovaWulf also claims that its proposal will allow Celsius customers to recover up to 70% of their funds.
According to reports, the Project Fahrenheit consortium has also proposed creating a new company to make stakeholders whole.
The reports also suggest a group of experienced crypto operators will manage the new company, which will hold significant assets in bitcoin mining, crypto loans, core crypto assets, and venture capital.
Celsius Network filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in July 2022 after suspending withdrawals due to extreme market conditions and allegations of insolvency.
The company was one of the leading crypto lending platforms that offered high-interest rates to depositors and low-interest rates to borrowers.