Ever since bankrupt crypto lender Celsius froze withdrawals in June, customer funds have been in limbo. The current, Leaked sound shared with CNBC revealing a preliminary plan to compensate them.
The company wants to issue cryptocurrency “IOUs” to customers who have already registered some of its accounts.
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Audio recording provided by Tiffany Fong, who says she is one of the 500,000 degree Celsius customers whose funds are locked in the platform. Fong said she received audio from a self-identified employee, who declined to be named during their communication.
CNBC was unable to verify that the leaked audio was the entirety of the conversation from an internal meeting on September 1. However, CNBC spoke to former employees, who verified that the snippet recording is authentic. In the recording, Chief Technology Officer Guillermo Bodnar said the plan was in the “early stages”. What is presented may have changed in the weeks since the call.
In the recording, Celsius’s co-founder, Nuke Goldstein, outlines a compensation plan for customers who deposit assets into Celsius’ “Earn” account, where Celsius has promised returns as high as 17 %.
Goldstein said Celsius will issue “wrapped tokens,” which will act as IOUs for customers. The tokens represent the ratio between the amount of Celsius owed to the customer and the assets they have available. He said if customers wait to redeem their tokens, it is more likely that the gap between what Celsius has and what it owes will be smaller.
It was a risky bet on increasing value for a newly born token from a company that had just gone bankrupt. Goldstein said the value is likely to go up as Celsius has revenue coming from the mining business, ETH staking and other coins can become liquid.
Celsius also intends to allow customers to redeem these tokens, according to Goldstein. He said the tokens can be redeemed in degrees Celsius with a value that could be lower than what they are owed, or on crypto platforms like Uniswap, which allows the market to determine the value of the token. .
In this illustration, the Celsius Network logo is displayed on the smartphone screen next to the Bitcoin cryptocurrency.
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The chargeback isn’t the only plan C has in the works. In part of an audio recording shared exclusively with CNBC, Bodnar said the company is also building a transaction management system, designed to track the company’s blockchain assets. That would include the property, their purchase price, and their value at sale.
According to sources close to the company, Celsius, which says it manages billions of dollars in client assets, has never had sophisticated software to manage and track its assets accurately. These sources, who requested anonymity because of security restrictions, also said the data was being tracked manually, on a simple Excel spreadsheet.
During the call, Bodnar said the goal of building this new system was transparency.
“…[T]Transparency is not only reflected in the way we communicate, but also ensures that everything done in our platform is traceable, auditable, end-to-end – we don’t nothing to hide,” he said.
Goldstein also emphasized that there is a lot of misinformation about the company circulating on the internet Twitter and employees should rely solely on information provided in court documents and town halls run by CEO Alex Mashinsky.
Goldstein said: “If you go on Twitter, bring an umbrella because it’s raining heavily —- over there. “This is your chance to get the truth. If we don’t tell you the truth about what we know – we’ll go to jail. Now, I don’t know if we’ll go to jail. .. but that’s not good.”
During the Q&A section of the event, a questioner asked where employees stood when they received their locked funds released from the platform. Goldstein said employees will not take precedence over customers.
“Employees are not the last or the first,” says Goldstein. “You’re the customer too. We’re the customer. That means we’re on the same level as the customer.”
CNBC has reached out to Celsius for comment on their refund plans and the status of their transaction management system, but the company has not yet responded.
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