The founder of cryptocurrency lender Celsius Network allegedly withdrew $10 million in funds weeks before it collapsed.

Alex Mashinsky, then CEO, was reported by the FT to have taken the funds in ‘mid-to-late May’, with customer funds frozen from June 12th. The company filed for bankruptcy in July.

Unnamed sources told the paper that the withdrawal was pre-planned and part of Mashinsky’s estate planning.

A spokesperson for Celsius told the FT that the withdrawal was intended for the payment of state and federal taxes.

“In the nine months leading up to that withdrawal, he consistently deposited cryptocurrency in amounts that totalled what he withdrew in May,” the spokesperson added.

They claimed that Mashinsky and his family still have $44m worth of crypto frozen on the platform.

A court will hear greater detail of the transactions in the coming days as part of a wider financial disclosure by the company.

Mashinsky could be forced to return the $10m as, under US law, in the 90 days leading up to a bankruptcy filing payments by a company can be reversed to benefit creditors.

Celsius had 1.7m customers and $25 billion in assets under management at the time of collapse. Its bankruptcy proceedings showed a $2.85 billion gap in its balance sheet, with the company holding $4.3bn of assets and $5.5bn of liabilities.

In Crypto: App to simplify investing launched by ex-Revolut staff

Cryptocurrency shorts

Juno, a digital banking platform that encourages users to spend crypto in their everyday transactions, has raised $18m in Series A funding to launch a tokenised loyalty program. The round was led by ParaFi Capital’s Growth Fund and included Coinbase chief product officer Surojit Chatterjee, Messari’s Ryan Selkis, Polygon’s Sandeep Nailwal and Jaynti Kanani, and a16z’s Sriram Krishnan.

OpenSea Ventures has invested in Latin American NFT marketplace Minteo as part of a $4.3m seed round. Fabric Ventures, Dune Ventures, CMT Digital, Impatient VC, Susquehanna Private Equity Investments, SevenX Ventures, FJ Labs, Big Brain Holdings, G20 Ventures, Alliance DAO, Zero Knowledge and several angels also invested.

Data from YCharts shows that the Ethereum Merge – a transition from the proof-of-work consensus mechanism to the more environmentally-friendly proof-of-stake – has led to an increase in daily block creation and decrease in average block time.

Leeds United owner’s streaming firm bought by DAZN

Crypto prices

The overall market cap of the more than 21,100 coins is at $924 billion at the time of writing (7am UK), down from $944bn on Friday morning.

For round-ups of recent cryptocurrency news developments, click here.

For valuations of the top 100 coins by market cap in US dollars, plus 24-hour price change, see below.