This Week on Crypto Twitter: Kraken’s CEO on Company Culture, Plus Reactions to Celsius, 3AC, TRON

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Decrypt
6d ago2022-06-19
Illustration by Mitchell Preffer for Decrypt

This week was easily the industry’s worst of 2022: Prices crashed across the board, with every leading project sinking by double-digit percentages over seven days. 

Market leaders Bitcoin and Ethereum hit lows not seen since 2020 as crypto’s total market cap briefly bottomed out near $845 billion, more than two-thirds below the all-time high of $3 trillion seen in November. As of this writing, it’s around $859 billion, a recovery of 1.85% in the last 24 hours.

There were more than just prices to scream about, however. On Crypto Twitter, many were discussing Celsius’s decision to freeze all withdrawals last Sunday. That night, the decentralized finance platform’s native CEL token took a 70% hit in one hour, evoking fears that the entire sector is in danger. After all, it was just last month that Terra collapsed.

Jon Wu, who leads growth at the Ethereum layer-2 privacy network Aztec, launched a popular and lengthy broadside against Celsius, accusing the lenders of luring customers with “dangerous use of meaningless platitudes” while pursuing “truly degenerate trading strategies.”

Wu explained how Celsius’s insolvency was tied to the company’s decision to use custodied funds to buy a lot of Lido’s Staked ETH (stETH), a cryptocurrency supposedly pegged to Ethererum, but has been trading noticeably below its peg for the last week. Lido’s stETH is also not currently redeemable for Ethereum, but will be when the network eventually transitions to proof-of-stake later this year.

At one point in Wu’s thread, he called Celsius’s business strategy a “delightful dish of degenerate delicacies.”

Bloomberg podcaster Joe Weisenthal highlighted a tweet from Celsius CEO Alex Mashinsky just 27 hours before the company paused withdrawals. "Why spread FUD" indeed.

Twitter didn’t hear from Mashinsky for three days following the freeze, but when he returned, he sent a message of support to the Celsius team and community. But no word on restarting withdrawals.

TRON depegs

Another event reminiscent of Terra’s historic collapse last week was Tron’s USDD stablecoin’s ongoing depeg. On Monday, CEO Justin Sun said he was deploying $2 billion from TRON’s reserves to guard against short sellers as the company’s other token, TRX, also depreciated.