Celsius moves large Ether amounts for creditor repayment

Celsius, the now-defunct crypto lending platform, has been actively transferring large quantities of Ether (ETH) to centralized exchanges, hinting at beginning creditor repayments in liquid crypto as soon as mid-February.

Several transfers of Ether from Celsius Network’s wallet to Paxos and Coinbase Prime deposit wallets were spotted today. The largest of these transfers involved 443,961 ETH, valued at nearly $984 million, moved to another network-controlled wallet as a preliminary step.

Following this, blockchain intelligence firm Arkham noted that 13 additional transactions were executed within the next hour, shifting this large amount of ETH to wallets belonging to Coinbase and Paxos. Between January 8 and 12, Celsius transferred an additional $95.5 million worth of assets to Coinbase and $29.7 million to FalconX.

Two days earlier, Celsius had already moved 575,081 ETH in an internal transaction using addresses labeled as “Celsius Network: Staked ETH” and “Celsius Network: Eth2 Depositor.”

Since November, Celsius has reportedly relocated a total of 757,626 ETH to various exchanges, including FalconX, Coinbase, OKX, and Paxos. Despite these transfers, Celsius still holds about 62,469 ETH, currently valued at around $138.8 million.

The precise motives behind these recent Ether transactions remain uncertain. However, a recent update to Celsius’s asset distribution FAQ mentioned that a limited number of corporate accounts would receive cryptocurrency via Coinbase. For non-corporate accounts, repayments to U.S. creditors will be processed through PayPal, while those outside the U.S. will go through Coinbase.

The “Celsius NewCo Community,” a group of Celsius creditors on X anticipates the start of liquid crypto distribution to creditors by mid-February, with the distribution window remaining open for a year. A Celsius user, “TheHawk,” reported successfully withdrawing all their ETH from Celsius, noting that the funds were in a custody account, not an Earn account.

This flurry of activity comes as Celsius stated earlier in the month its intention to shift assets to ensure sufficient liquidity for upcoming distributions. The firm plans to unstake its Ether holdings to cover restructuring costs and ensure timely distributions. According to blockchain analytics platform Nansen Celsius no longer has any ETH pending staking withdrawal.

Interestingly, the Celsius bankruptcy administrators told creditors that account holders who withdrew over $100,000 in the 90 days before the firm’s bankruptcy declaration on July 13, 2022, might need to return those funds by January 31, 2024.