The United States Trustee handling Celsius’ bankruptcy proceedings has called for an independent examiner to be brought in to “untangle” the embattled network’s financial affairs and business operations.
In a motion filed on Thursday to the United States Bankruptcy Court by William K. Harrington, the US Trustee has asked for an examiner to look into allegations of “incompetence or gross mismanagement” as well as “significant transparency issues” surrounding Celsius’ operations in the context of the bankruptcy case.
Examiners are appointed by bankruptcy courts to investigate details of complex cases brought before them. They are able to present information to the courts from an independent point of view and have been appointed in other high-profile bankruptcy cases such as Lehman Brothers during the subprime mortgage crisis.
According to the motion, the appointment of an examiner would be beneficial to the parties involved, given the complexities of the case, as they could provide information beyond the court’s expertise:
“An investigation by an independent examiner—who would present his or her findings in an understandable way—is essential to provide the Court, the United States Trustee, creditors, and other parties in interest with transparency and clarity as to the business structure, practices, and liquidity of the Debtors.”
Harrington also mentioned that an examiner would be able to determine whether legal claims should be brought against management, as there are claims of “credible allegations of incompetence or gross mismanagement."
The U.S. Trustee has also suggested there are “significant transparency issues” surrounding Celsius’ business operations.
“The Debtors have not provided adequate information regarding their liquidity position, their business model, the flow of traditional cash funds, or the value of their crypto assets,” Harrington said, adding the information can then be used to help evaluate any proposed restructuring or sale.
Harrington also added that an examiner may be able to sift through the plethora of information on the internet that is muddying facts surrounding Celsius, causing its customers to form their own conclusions.
Not every party involved supports the request for an examiner, with the Celsius Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors pointing out the costs of doing so.
Experts that are not directly involved with the case, however — such as Bankruptcy Partner at McCarter & English David Adler — seem to agree that an examiner is warranted.
The South Korean government has put the lid on a science program that created toilets designed to turn human waste into electricity, heat and digital currency.
The Science Walden project was revealed in July 2021 to the amusement of the crypto community and the wider public alike — introducing the BeeVi toilet, which turned human excrement into methane gas and rewarded its “depositors” with a digital currency called Ggool.
Speaking to Cointelegraph, Science Walden lead and professor Cho Jae-weon, however, revealed that in February this year, further development of the BeeVi toilet and its associated Feces Standard Money (FSM) digital currency has “unfortunately” halted after the scheduled end of the project’s five years of funding:
“My project, Science Walden, unfortunately, came to an end in February this year, with FSM and BeeVi [...] I think they thought they supported it enough and believe Science Walden should stand on its own feet to be independent.”
Cho noted that there are still a few BeeVi toilets inside the campus at its Science Cabin at the Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology campus, but that stands as the only place such a toilet exists now.
Since its invention, BeeVi users have been relieved to earn the Ggool digital currency, a transliteration of the Korean word for honey, and tokens for providing energy to the university. The currency could be used to buy goods on campuses such as coffee and snacks, but the marketplace has not been active for nearly all of 2022 so far.
Cho explained to Cointelegraph that both his toilet and FSM system could've been a spark for significant positive change in society if given a chance. He referred to Ggool tokens as a “social good” that exists “in contrast to what we think of as a ‘currency:’”
“We ask people to value products, goods, services, and even a work of art only in Ggool, without thinking [about] its value in Korean Won and US dollars. This is a new way to view value in different ways.”
Ggool tokens were designed with a negative interest rate of 7% to discourage hodling, which means earners must be regular in liquidating their assets or risk losing purchasing power.
Additionally, 30% of the tokens one earns are distributed to other holders upon receipt. Cho said:
“As a result, this is a form of currency that does not support the accumulation of wealth but which is constantly circulated and utilized.”
FSM and Ggool tokens are not government-backed or blockchain-based entities. Professor Cho thinks the program lost its funding because “it seems nobody cares [...] considering it has a different spirit and philosophy from existing currencies.”
Professor Cho asserted that metropolitan cities could benefit from the technology by utilizing the waste to produce something useful rather than just clearing the pipes of a centralized water system or being released into the atmosphere as a greenhouse gas.
For example, he believes there is a lot of opportunity with his technology as the methane it produces can be burned for heat or used for cooking gas.
However, he admits that such a rollout would require “institutional structure” as well as hefty infrastructure investment.
Government controlled “programmable money should terrify you”, says social media influencer and TV Host Layah Heilpern, who sees central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) as a way for banks and governments to reign control over their people.
In an interview on Aug. 19 with British news outlet GB News, Heilpern, who also released Undressing Bitcoin: A Revealing Guide To The World's Most Revolutionary Asset in September 2021, said the widespread rollout of a central bank digital currency (CBDC) from nation states is on its way, and that it could lead to the financial censorship of citizens in the future.
Heilpern stated that as CBDCs are essentially programmable cryptocurrencies that run on blockchains, they could potentially be “programmed against you” at the whims of the centralized authority behind them.
“If for whatever reason you say the wrong thing, because you know we’re seeing censorship increasing, then that money can essentially be programmed to be used against you.”
Heilpern added that while a lot of people might find this concept to be “quite bizarre,” it’s very realistic given the restrictions that were enforced on unvaccinated people by governments:
“With a CBDC, all [the government] have to do really is program that money so you can’t spend it on certain things.”
Heilpern also said that while CBDCs will be marketed as “better for the environment,” and serve as a “solution to rising inflation rates,” that’s simply “a lie.”
Following up on the interview via a Twitter post, Heilpern didn't mince her words as she stated that the "Central Bank Digital Currencies will be marketed as better for the environment and the solution to inflation. It's a lie. Money is the energy that fuels your life; so programmable money should terrify you."
Notably however, such concerns around financial censorship have been especially prevalent with crypto in general of late, with the recent Tornado Cash debacle, which saw the U.S. Treasury sanction ETH and USDC addresses associated with the Ethereum-based privacy tool.
This Daily Dose was brought to you by Cointelegraph.