Bitcoin fell as much as 14% on Monday after major U.S. cryptocurrency lending company Celsius Network froze withdrawals and transfers citing “extreme” market conditions, in the latest sign of the financial market downturn hitting the cryptosphere.
The Celsius move triggered a slide across cryptocurrencies, with their value dropping below $1 trillion on Monday for the first time since January 2021, sparking worries the rout might spill over into other assets or hit other companies.
“Almost anything can be systemic in crypto … because the whole space is over-levered,” said Cory Klippsten, chief executive of Swan Bitcoin, a bitcoin savings platform. “It’s all a house of cards.”
Celsius CEO Alex Mashinsky and Celsius did not respond to Reuters requests for comment.
New Jersey-based Celsius, which has around $11.8 billion in assets, offers interest-bearing products to customers who deposit cryptocurrencies with its platform. It then lends out cryptocurrencies to earn a return.
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