Celsius successor taps former Algorand, WeWork and UBS execs for new board

Quick Take

  • Former Algorand CEO Steve Kokinos is set to head the successor of the bankrupt crypto lender Celsius.
  • The new board of directors includes executives from WeWork, Credit Suisse and UBS, with two members from Celsius’ creditor committee.

Former Algorand CEO Steve Kokinos has been named as the prospective CEO of the company succeeding Celsius' operations.

Kokinos joins eight other directors appointed to the board of the yet-to-be-named Delaware corporation, currently dubbed "NewCo,” according to a court filing on Saturday.

Six of the nine board members were appointed by Celsius’ creditors committee and two by Fahrenheit Holdings — the consortium that made the winning bid to acquire Celsius’ assets in May. The consortium plans to take over Celsius' institutional loan portfolio, staked crypto and bitcoin mining unit.

Kokinos parted ways with the Layer 1 staking-based blockchain Algorand in July 2022 and is a co-owner of Fahrenheit, alongside Arrington Capital, Ravi Kaza, Proof Group and crypto mining firm US Bitcoin Corp.

The new board also includes Michael Arrington of Arrington Capital, the investment firm that led Fahrenheit’s bid; US Bitcoin Corp President Asher Genoot; Frederick Arnold, who is overseeing the estate of the defunct Lehman Brothers; WeWork audit committee Chair and ex-UBS Managing Director Elizabeth LaPuma; and ex-Credit Suisse investment banker Emmanuel Aidoo.

Celsius committee chairs Scott Duffy and Thomas DiFiore were also appointed to the new board. The committee represents the interests of Celsius’ creditors.

Celsius’ bankruptcy and regulatory issues

Celsius filed for bankruptcy protection in July last year owing billions of dollars to investors amid the crypto downturn. Celsius creditors are currently voting on Fahrenheit’s proposed takeover with a deadline of Sept. 22 to file objections. If successful, the acquisition could help investors recover some of those lost funds.

The collapsed crypto lender has also faced scrutiny from multiple regulators, including the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the Federal Trade Commission.

The SEC sued Celsius and former CEO Alex Mashinsky in July this year for allegedly fraudulent activities, unregistered sales of "crypto asset securities" and price manipulation of its native CEL token. Mashinsky posted a $40 million bond and pleaded not guilty to criminal charges.

Last week, Mashinsky's assets and Texas home were frozen, according to an unsealed court order.


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