Beleaguered cryptocurrency lender Celsius Network staked some $75 million of ether (ETH) last week via Figment, an institutional-grade staking service, blockchain data shows.
According to by crypto intelligence firm ARKHAM Intelligence, Celsius transferred some 40,928 ETH to a crypto wallet spread through fourteen transactions between May 10 and May 12. The account is owned by Figment, who deposited the funds into staking contracts, according to Ethereum blockchain explorer .
The transfer represents one of the largest movements of funds for the crypto lender since it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in July.
Celsius was one of the crypto firms that became insolvent after the sudden implosion of blockchain project and the subsequent of crypto markets a year ago, forcing the company to freeze user withdrawals. As part of the restructuring process, the bankruptcy court is holding an auction to sell the firm and its assets to interested investors including digital asset investment firm NovaWulf and private equity giant Apollo Global Management.
Read more: Celsius Seeks to Merge UK, U.S. Entities Amid Allegations Distinction Was a ‘Sham’
Depositing to a staking service allows Celsius to earn rewards on its digital asset holdings during the restructuring efforts. Figment offers an average of 5.6% annualized staking reward, according to its website.
Celsius move comes as a surprise because it also operates one of the largest ETH staking pools with some $290 million of assets under management.
“The interesting part is that they decided to stake with Figment instead of their own staking pool,” Tom Wan, analyst at digital asset investment product firm 21Shares, said in a note.
The last deposit into the lender’s own staking pool happened in April last year, according to Arkham blockchain data, well before the withdrawal freeze and bankruptcy filing. Celsius also holds some $750 million worth of Lido Finance’s liquid staking derivative token stETH, earning rewards.
Update (12:33 UTC, May 15, 2023): Adds additional detail.
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Edited by Stephen Alpher.