In a court filing submitted on Wednesday and during a hearing on Thursday, the bankrupt cryptocurrency platform Celsius Network stated that it will return a small fraction of the monies its users deposited into "custody" accounts kept on its platform.
According to their most recent market value, the securities in these accounts are valued roughly $48 million.
The legal team at Celsius Network estimates that the total amount of cryptocurrency kept in the company's custody accounts is worth between $200 and $215 million.
This raises the question of whether Celsius will restore the other $160 million or more in customer funds in its control.
While exact amounts vary with the wider crypto markets, that amount represents less than 20% of the $1.2 billion difference between assets and liabilities Celsius declared on its balance sheet at the time of its Chapter 11 filing and around 5% of the $4.3 billion in total assets owed to customers by Celsius.
Ross Kwasteniet, a lawyer at the law firm Kirkland & Ellis who represents Celsius, stated:
"We do not rule out the prospect that we will return before you requesting release of all [the custody monies], possibly subject to clawback claims. We simply are not there yet."
As of Thursday afternoon, July 19, the overall market capitalization of crypto assets has increased by over 6% to $962 billion, from $902 billion on July 13 evening, as reported by CoinMarketCap.
In a court document filed in mid-August, Celsius anticipates running out of money by October. The company may decide to sell its assets through a competitive bidding process.
Centerview is in charge of the bidding process, and the schedule sets the deadline for the final offer on September 21, a bidding auction on September 23 if necessary, and a final sale hearing on October 6.
Prior to that, according to Gregory Pesce, lawyer for the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors, the unsecured creditors committee intends to connect with Celsius consumers via social media. It plans to hold an Ask Me Anything session for "middle of September."
Alameda Research, an unsecured creditor, announced an early offer that the insolvent company rejected, and Ripple Labs has showed interest in acquiring parts of Celsius's assets. However, Celsius has not disclosed information regarding the bidders.
"The debtor cannot afford to remain in chapter 11 for an extended period of time, and it would be unfair to those who have their life savings, education funds, etc., locked up in this case," Pesce said.