Crypto lending platform Celsius has reportedly filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, with its lawyers starting to notify individual United States state regulators as of Wednesday.
The news was reported by CNBC and referred to an unnamed source, who asked not to be named, as the proceedings were private. They said that the company planned to file the Chapter 11 paperwork “imminently.”
It comes just days after the embattled lending platform replaced its previously hired law firm Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP with Kirkland & Ellis LLP, the same firm that assisted Voyager Digital with its bankruptcy filing last week.
Earlier in the day, Celsius closed off the last of its decentralized finance (DeFi) debts owed to Compound, Aave and Maker, reducing its initial debt of $820 million to just $0.013 over the course of a month.
Still unknown, however, will be the fate of depositors who still have their assets locked up on the lending platform. Neither the company nor its CEO Alex Mashinsky has made any public comments about whether depositors will receive any percentage of their funds back.
On Tuesday, Vermont’s Department of Financial Regulation (DFR) issued a warning against the troubled crypto lending firm, reminding consumers that the firm is not licensed to offer its services in the state.
The DFR also stated it believed the company was “deeply insolvent” and doesn’t possess “assets and liquidity” to fulfill its obligations toward the customers and accused them of mismanaging customer funds by allocating them toward risky investments.
Vermont has become the sixth state in America to open an investigation into Celsius’s crypto interest rate accounts, joining the likes of Alabama, Kentucky, New Jersey, Texas and Washington.
Rumors of Celsius’ insolvency began circulating last month after the crypto lender was forced to halt withdrawals due to “extreme market conditions” on June 13.
As nonfungible tokens (NFTs) continue to garner interest, the United States Patent and Trademark Office and U.S. Copyright Office are set to launch a study into their impact on intellectual property rights.
The examination of NFTs comes after a request from Senators Patrick Leahy and Thom Tillis in June for a deep dive into the potential ramifications the burgeoning asset class could have in regard to intellectual property rights.
The two departments have agreed to conduct the study in correspondence with Leahy and Tillis, conducting preliminary discussions to plot a plan of action tha will include consultations with various stakeholders well-versed in the NFT landscape.
A broad range of topics, which were initially raised by the Vermont and North Carolina senators, will be considered. This includes potential intellectual property challenges with future applications of NFTs, the rights associated with transferring ownership of an NFT, licensing rights and infringements and the potential IP rights given to NFT creators.
Cointelegraph has reached out to both departments to ascertain how long the study will take to be completed, the scope of its coverage and which industry stakeholders will be consulted. They did not respond immediately.
The NFT space has already caused plenty of strife for companies that have seen their products or intellectual property infringed upon in recent months. A number of high-profile brands have sought legal recourse against NFT marketplaces and platforms that may have infringed on associated IP rights.
Global sportswear brand Nike made headlines in February as it instituted court proceedings against online reseller StockX for infringing on its trademark through the sale of unlicensed sneaker NFTs. The company had sold Nike NFT sneakers that were set to include redeemable, real-world versions of the shoes.
American rapper Lil Yachty is fighting his own legal battle in California, after filing a trademark infringement lawsuit against two music companies. The 24-year-old claimed the firms used his likeness and name to raise more than $6.5 million in venture capital to bankroll the launch of a collection of NFTs.
Production company Miramax also went the legal route in November 2021 after critically-acclaimed film director Quentin Tarantino looked to launch NFTs derived from his blockbuster 1994 film Pulp Fiction. The studio claimed Tarantino infringed on copyrights as he set out to launch an NFT collection featuring seven uncut screenplay scenes, exclusive commentary and original handwritten scripts.
Financial services firm Mastercard has partnered with crypto gateway provider Fasset to co-develop digital solutions that may drive adoption in Indonesia. The collaboration aims to expand financial inclusion in the country and extend opportunities to its local economy.
In an announcement, Navin Jain, the country manager for Mastercard Indonesia, said that will support Fasset's efforts to advance financial inclusion within the country. According to Jain, the partnership will help locals to have more access to digital technologies.
Hendra Suryakusuma, an executive at Fasset, told Cointelegraph that there is an unbanked population of 92 million in Indonesia. According to Suryakusuma, this gap will be bridged by Fasset and Mastercard to bring better access to digital financial services. Suryakusuma explained that:
“Our partnership seeks to lower the barriers to digital finance and drive greater opportunities to benefit from the use of emerging financial services.”
Apart from this, the executive also believes that crypto adoption in countries like Indonesia will also have a significant impact on the broader crypto ecosystem. He highlighted that it will serve as a reference for other countries to pursue progress and change the pace of economic growth. “The implications on the industry are greater legitimization of crypto assets, their use cases, and areas of applications,” he further explained.
In June, Mastercard expanded its network for nonfungible token (NFT) markets. The payment processing firm partnered with NFT marketplaces to allow its cardholders to purchase NFTs directly with their cards, eliminating the need to buy crypto before making NFT purchases.
Back in May, Michael Miebach, the CEO of Mastercard, made a bold prediction that the cross-border transaction platform SWIFT may cease to exist in 5 years during a panel on central bank digital currencies (CBDCs). However, after the panel, a spokesperson from Mastercard clarified that it's not a yes or no question but rather a reinforcement of SWIFT's previous statements that its operations will eventually evolve.
This Daily Dose was brought to you by Cointelegraph.