Minutes before Celsius Network LLC CEO Alex Mashinsky’s weekly “AMA” or “Ask Mashinsky Anything” was due to start Friday at noon, the video was removed from YouTube.
This dashed the hopes of customers who were anxiously awaiting news from the cryptocurrency lender, which told customers on Sunday evening that it was suspending all withdrawals, trades and transfers between accounts due to “extreme market conditions”.
“While we face some very difficult challenges, we will be suspending AMAs for now so that Celsius can focus on this very important work for the community,” Mr. Mashinsky, 56, said in a pre-recorded. video.
Celsius claims to have $11.7 billion in assets across 1.7 million customers. On Thursday, the company said it was “working around the clock” to resolve the issue, but did not provide any details on when withdrawals would resume.
The Wall Street Journal reported that Celsius had hired restructuring lawyers to help it deal with its growing financial problems.
Prior to the cancellation of the AMA, more than 2,000 users were discussing Celsius in a YouTube chat box. Some were disappointed by Mr. Mashinksy’s silence.
“I’m sure your AMA would have been difficult, but you should have done it. Shame on you and Celsius for running away from the community. So much for being open and transparent. You lost my support and I hope you didn’t lose my crypto,” said someone with the username “dasgigler.”
Other crypto firms are also under pressure. Babel Finance, a Hong Kong-based crypto lending and trading firm, said on Friday it was suspending redemptions and withdrawals of all products, citing “unusual liquidity pressures.”
“We are in close communication with all related parties and will share updates in a timely manner. Babel Finance has no exposure to Celsius,” a company spokesperson said.
Also on Friday, cryptocurrency hedge fund Three Arrows Capital said it had hired legal and financial advisers to explore options such as asset sales and a bailout by another company. The hedge fund suffered heavy losses from selling crypto.