Financial TimesFinancial Times

Inside Celsius: how one of crypto’s biggest lenders ground to a halt

By Joshua Oliver

13 Jul 2022 · 10 min read

Editor's Note

FT analyses the implosion of bankrupt crypto lender Celcius and how its founders cashed out while blocking any withdrawals from wallets for regular crypto investors.

Former employees and internal documents suggest a reckless pursuit of high returns put the company in a poor position to ride out this year’s market turbulenceWhen Daniel Leon, one of the founders of Celsius Network, posted a Twitter video addressed to Warren Buffett in January 2021, he was in high spirits. The price of bitcoin was rocketing and Celsius, the crypto lender he had founded in 2017 with Alex Mashinsky, was riding the boom.

“Warren, Warren, Warren,” Leon began with a wry smile, mocking the American investor’s scepticism about bitcoin and butchering one of Buffett’s best known aphorisms on long-term investing: “My friends and I are planting a tree of transparent and decentralised cryptocurrencies so that future generations can enjoy the shade of prosperity and financial liberation.”

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