Minutes before Celsius Network LLC Chief Executive Alex Mashinsky’s weekly “AMA”—or “Ask Mashinsky Anything”—was supposed to begin at noon Friday, the video was removed from YouTube.
That dashed the hopes of customers eagerly waiting to hear from the cryptocurrency lender, which told customers Sunday night that it was pausing all withdrawals, swaps, and transfers between accounts due to “extreme market conditions.”
“While we navigate some very difficult challenges, we will be pausing AMAs for now so Celsius can focus on this very important work for the community,” Mr. Mashinsky, 56, said in a pre-recorded video.
Celsius claims to have $11.7 billion in assets across 1.7 million customers. On Thursday, the company said it was “working around the clock” to address the issue but offered no details about when withdrawals would resume.
The Wall Street Journal reported that Celsius hired restructuring attorneys to help handle its mounting financial problems.
Before cancellation of the AMA, more than 2,000 users were discussing Celsius in a chatbox on YouTube. Some were disappointed by Mr. Mashinksy’s silence.
“I’m sure your AMA would have been rough, but you should have done it. Shame on you and Celsius for running away from the community. So much for being open and transparent. You lost my support and I hope to God you have not lost my crypto,” said someone with the username “dasgigler.”
Other crypto firms are also under pressure. Babel Finance, a Hong Kong-based crypto lending and trading firm, said Friday that it is suspending redemptions and withdrawals from all products, citing “unusual liquidity pressures.”
“We are in close communication with all related parties and will share updates in a timely manner. Babel Finance has no exposure to Celsius,” a company spokesperson said.
Also Friday, cryptocurrency hedge fund Three Arrows Capital said it has hired legal and financial advisors to explore options including asset sales and a rescue by another firm. The hedge fund has suffered heavy losses from the crypto selloff.