Troubled crypto lending firm Celsius is putting their best foot forward to recover operations alongside CEO Alex Mashinsky, who currently stays in the United States, the company has claimed.
A spokesperson for Celsius has denied rumors that the company’s CEO tried to flee the U.S. last week amid the ongoing liquidity crisis of the Celsius Network.
The representative told Cointelegraph on Monday that the firm continues working on restoring liquidity, stating:
“All Celsius employees — including our CEO — are focused and hard at work in an effort to stabilize liquidity and operations. To that end, any reports that the Celsius CEO has attempted to leave the U.S. are false.”
Celsius’ statement came shortly after Mike Alfred, co-founder of the crypto analytics firm Digital Assets Data, took to Twitter on Sunday to claim that Mashinsky attempted to leave the country last week via Morristown Airport in New Jersey.
Citing an anonymous source, Alfred alleged that Celsius’s CEO was trying to go to Israel. “Unclear at this moment whether he was arrested or simply barred from leaving,” he added.
Alfred’s claims followed a massive GameStop-like “short squeeze” of Celsius, with Celsius’ native token Celsius (CEL) jumping 300% in one week by June 21. CEL price also abruptly rallied more than 600% on June 14, with analysts attributing the event to an exchange glitch or liquidation of short traders.
At the time of writing, CEL is trading at $0.741, down around 5% over the past 24 hours, according to CoinGecko. Celsius’ native token is still up more than 160% over the past 14 days.
Some industry observers in the crypto community have expressed skepticism about Alfred’s tweets about Mashinsky, with many considering his allegations as FUD.
If @Mashinsky attempted to leave the country this week, why are you reporting it now exactly when the CEL price is going down? Seems very coincidental Mike Alfud. And why no mainstream media or crypto media is reporting this? #CelShortSqueeze https://t.co/ynJbzWib9o
— Otis — #CelShortSqueeze ©️ ⚡️ (@otisa502) June 27, 2022
As previously reported by Cointelegraph, Celsius officially announced that it would be “pausing all withdrawals, swaps and transfers between accounts” on June 13. United States regulators subsequently started an investigation into Celsius as multiple accounts on the network were frozen.
Related: South Korean prosecutors ban Terraform Labs employees from exiting the country: Report
According to some analysts, Celsius’ liquidity issues should be attributed to shortcomings of the existing crypto lending model in general, as other lenders in the market have faced similar problems recently.
Celsius has been working hard to fix the consequences of the platform’s liquidity crisis, reportedly onboarding advisers and restructuring consultants to help the platform handle potential filing for bankruptcy. On June 18, Celsius’ lead investor BnkToTheFuture and its co-founder Simon Dixon offered to assist the network by deploying a recovery plan.