Goldman Sachs Joins Investors Eyeing Crypto Lender Celsius’ Assets

  • The fundraising follows a growing number of Goldman forays into digital assets, including setting up its own in-house dealing desk
  • It is unclear whether the bank would manage the assets it acquires or outsource

Goldman Sachs continues its push into crypto.

Its latest offer: to fish for raising about $2 billion to recover troubled assets stuck in limbo at troubled digital asset lender Celsius, according to two sources familiar with the matter.

The fundraiser – which a source said would likely be through the investment bank’s asset management unit – could buy assets from Celsius at a discount, even if the lender does not declare bankruptcy . The source said the $2 billion is an estimate at this point, adding that such an increase would be in line with the big bills the bank typically needs to make a worthwhile investment for its wealthy backers.

A Goldman spokesperson was not immediately available for comment. The sources were granted anonymity to discuss sensitive business transactions. CoinDesk reported for the first time the capital increase.

The move would put Goldman squarely among the growing number of traditional financiers looking to profit from buying cryptocurrencies and stocks, as well as refinancing debt, from crypto investment firms under the water following the latest market downturn.

It is unclear whether Goldman would oversee the acquired assets or whether the bank would use a third party for safekeeping and trading. He could also sell some on the open market.

The move follows Goldman’s recent bullish push into crypto, including establishing its own trading desks and gauging institutional investor interest in lending products. The strategy predated Celsius significantly.

Celsius, which ran $12 billion in May, has been on the brink of insolvency since the company abruptly announced it would halt all withdrawals from its platform earlier this month. In the event of bankruptcy, customers would be considered unsecured creditors – and therefore far down the list in terms of recovering their assets.

“Goldman didn’t want to buy the top of the market,” a source said. “It’s more their style.”

The source drew parallels between the woes of now-closed Melvin Capital, star trader Gabe Plotkin, which received an emergency cash injection from Steve Cohen’s Point72 Asset Management and Ken Griffin’s Citadel.

Although Melvin closed after a kerfuffle in which the company attempted to launch a new fund to continue collecting management fees from limited partners, the hedge fund company did not go bankrupt.

Whether Celisus will do it remains to be seen.

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  • Michael Bodley

    Chief Editor

    Michael Bodley is a New York-based editor for Blockworks, where he focuses on the intersection of Wall Street and digital assets. He previously worked for the institutional investor newsletter Hedge Fund Alert. His work has appeared in The Boston Globe, NBC News, The San Francisco Chronicle and The Washington Post. Contact Michael by email at [email protected]
  • Dan Keeler


    Chief Editor

    Dan Keeler is an editor at Blockworks. Prior to joining Blockworks, he was Frontier Markets Editor at The Wall Street Journal, where he managed the paper’s coverage of smaller emerging markets and created a number of high-profile events and a popular newsletter. Prior to joining the WSJ, he was editor of Global Finance magazine. He is also the founder of New York’s FM Network, a group that organizes gatherings of finance professionals focused on smaller emerging markets. Contact Dan by email at [email protected]


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