Ripple Labs interested in assets of bankrupt crypto lender Celsius

The Celsius network logo and representations of cryptocurrencies are seen in this illustration taken June 13, 2022. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

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Aug 10 (Reuters) – San Francisco-based blockchain payments firm Ripple Labs Inc, which is embroiled in a high-profile battle with the U.S. securities regulator, is interested in potentially buying assets from the bankrupt crypto lender Celsius Network, according to a company spokesperson.

“We are interested in learning more about Celsius and its assets, and whether they might be relevant to our business,” the spokesperson said, declining to comment on whether Ripple was interested in acquiring Celsius outright.

Ripple has continued to grow despite the turmoil in the crypto market and is “actively pursuing M&A opportunities to strategically scale the business,” the spokesperson said.

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New Jersey-based Celsius froze withdrawals in June citing “extreme” market conditions and filed for bankruptcy in New York last month, writing a $1.19 billion deficit on its balance sheet. Read more

Last week, Ripple’s lawyers filed filings with the bankruptcy court asking to be represented in the proceedings. The court approved the filing earlier this week. Ripple is not among Celsius’ major creditors, as Celsius’ bankruptcy filings show. Ripple provided the comment in response to questions from Reuters regarding the court filings.

A lawyer licensed to represent Ripple declined to comment. Celsius did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Cryptocurrencies have had a rough year, with the world’s largest bitcoin down almost 70% from its all-time high of $69,000 in November. Markets were shaken by the crash of popular terraUSD and luna tokens in May, which caused widespread losses for several major industry players.

According to bankruptcy filings, Celsius’ assets include digital assets held in custodial accounts, loans, a bitcoin mining business, the company’s own CEL token, and bank cash and cryptocurrencies that Celsius has under the hand.

The private company Ripple has not yet concluded any major transactions. It was valued at around $15 billion following a private stock buyout in January, the company said, although industry valuations fell significantly during a crash in crypto prices. currency over the past few months that has helped topple Celsius and other cryptocurrency companies.

Ripple’s total sales of its cryptocurrency XRP, net of purchases, were $408.9 million in the second quarter, compared to $273.27 million in the first quarter, according to a report released by the company in July. .

The company was sued by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in 2020 for XRP. The agency alleges that Ripple and its current and former CEOs led a $1.3 billion unregistered securities offering by selling XRP, which Ripple’s founders created in 2012.

Ripple and executives denied the allegations, and the company argued that XRP was traded and used as digital currency.

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Reporting by Hannah Lang in Washington; Editing by Mark Porter, Josie Kao and Mark Potter

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