According to a new press release published on Tuesday, Alex Mashinsky, CEO of troubled crypto lender Celsius Network, has resigned effective immediately. In explaining the decision, Mashinsky wrote:
“I regret that my continued role as CEO has become an increasing distraction, and I am very sorry about the difficult financial circumstances members of our community are facing. Since the pause, I have worked tirelessly to help the company and its advisors put forward a viable plan for the Company to return coins to creditors in the fairest and most efficient way.”
Founded in 2017, Celsius Network was a rising star in the crypto-lending space, surpassing over 1.7 million customers, $25 billion in assets under management, and $850 million in cumulative interest paid earlier this year. However, its fortunes took a drastic turn when the ongoing crypto winter exposed the firm’s risky, leveraged trading practices.
As a result, the company halted all consumer withdrawals in June and was left with a balance sheet gap of nearly $2.85 billion. Prominent stakeholders, such as the Quebec Pension Fund, lost almost the entirety of their investment in the company. Even Celsius’ co-founder Daniel Leon declared that his equity was “worthless” in court. The firm is currently undergoing bankruptcy proceedings.
Previously, Mashinsky has tried to revive the company by restructuring it to focus on crypto custody. He also allegedly shared plans to turn its debt into crypto and airdrop them to creditors. After Celsius’ collapse, rumors circulated that Mashinsky tried to flee the United States, which he denied. Mashinsky was voted #63 on Cointelegraph’s Top 100 People in Crypto and Blockchain list last year.