Alex Mashinsky, the CEO of bankrupt cryptocurrency lender Celsius Network, announced Tuesday that he is stepping down.
The Hoboken, New Jersey-based Celsius Network, which was founded in 2017, had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in July.
Mashinsky, 56, an Israeli-American businessman who previously served as CEO of wireless router company Novatel Wireless, released a statement on Twitter about his exit.
“I regret that my continued role as CEO has become an increasing distraction, and I am very sorry about the difficult financial circumstances members of our community are facing,” he said in a statement.
Celsius had paused all withdrawals in June before filing for bankruptcy in July. At the time, the lender reportedly owed investors nearly $4.7 billion.
Celsius was a leader in the lending space before a liquidity crunch rocked the crypto market. As of May, Celsius held more than $8 billion in loans to clients and almost $12 billion in assets under management. However, employees said trouble was already brewing at the lender leading up to the bankruptcy filing.
Regulators in Vermont had issued a warning against Celsius in July. The state’s Department of Financial Regulation had issued a statement that it “believes Celsius is deeply insolvent and lacks the assets and liquidity to honor its obligations to account holders and other creditors.” It also accused the crypto lender of misleading investors, falsifying its financial positions, and of dealing in unregistered securities.
Following Mashinsky’s announcement, Celsius’ value fell more than 7%, according to CoinMarketCap, a cryptocurrency market database.
Celsius’ leadership had floated a comeback plan last week that involved turning its existing debt into a new cryptocurrency.