CDPQ investment: Celsius customers at the end of their connection testify

Celsius Network acted as a bank in the crypto world. Clients could place their crypto-assets there and receive an annual profit of almost 19%. They could also get cryptocurrency or cash loans by pledging their crypto assets to Celsius.

Last October, Caisse de depot et placement du Québec (CDPQ) announced it was participating in a US$400 million financing round with Celsius. A Radio-Canada investigation found that the Caisse’s involvement amounted to US$150 million.

Celsius suddenly froze withdrawals from its platform on June 12. From this date, clients can no longer withdraw their crypto assets from the platform. On June 13, Celsius announced that it was filing for bankruptcy in New York state.

Letters addressed to Judge Glenn come from all over the world: from Finland to India, Australia, Belgium and South Korea. Radio-Canada was unable to find reviews from Canadian customers, but some customers do not indicate where they live.

Today, those customers believe they have lost everything and are begging a judge to let them get their money back.

ans et suis travailleuse dans le domaine de la santé. Je n’ai pas beaucoup d’économies comparativement à d’autres, mais c’est un montant considérable pour moi et ma famille”,”text”:”J’ai 50ans et suis travailleuse dans le domaine de la santé. Je n’ai pas beaucoup d’économies comparativement à d’autres, mais c’est un montant considérable pour moi et ma famille”}}”>I am 50 years old, I work in the field of health care. I don’t have a lot of savings compared to others, but it’s a significant amount for me and my family– writes a woman who claims to have invested the equivalent of $19,000 in Celsius cryptocurrency.

I’m disappointed, I can’t sleep, my husband doesn’t know what happened. Please give us justiceshe continues.

A customer based in India claims to have placed about $14,000 in crypto assets with Celsius. $US par année”,”text”:”Ce montant est énorme pour un Indien. L’Indien moyen gagne 5000$US par année”}}”>For an Indian, this amount is colossal. The average Indian earns $5,000 a yearhe said.

I was very stressed and suicidal because Celsius blocked the withdrawal. I am the only breadwinner in the familyhe continues.

A client from Australia claims she invested in Celsius while she was expecting a new baby.

I planned to withdraw funds from Celsius for childbirth and surgery for my aunt at the end of June, but because [Celsius] stopped my withdrawals, I no longer have access to my money and my life has become miserable. I am worried that my stress caused by the Celsius situation will affect my baby’s health.

In her letter to Judge Glenn, the customer included a screenshot of an email she sent to Celsius customer service on June 15, pleading with the company to make an exception and allow her to withdraw her claims.

Trying to convince the agent, she attached a photo of her baby’s ultrasound.

Another US customer who invested the equivalent of $40,000 to $50,000 in Celsius cryptocurrency says he found out his funds were frozen while he was at the gym.

I fell to the ground, holding my head in my hands, holding back tears. That day I did my best to go to work and see my colleagues. It was impossible for me to concentrate on work. It was like living in a nightmare. However, it was nowhere near as bad as when I got home and ran into my family.he wrote.

A man sits in front of a microphone and wears a t-shirt with the Celsius logo and the phrase

Celsius CEO Alex Mashinsky during a YouTube broadcast on May 22, 2022.

Photo: Screenshot – YouTube / Celsius Network

A controversial investment

In October 2021, Celsius CEO Alex Mashinsky said that the investment in which the Caisse participated increased the company’s credibility.

M$, c’est la crédibilité qui vient avec les gens qui ont signé les chèques”,”text”:”[Ce qui est important], ce n’est pas les 400M$, c’est la crédibilité qui vient avec les gens qui ont signé les chèques”}}”>[Ce qui est important]it’s not the $400 million, it’s the trust that comes with the people signing the checkshe said then.

A few months later, he said this on a podcast due diligence [vérification préalable] de la CDPQ est ce à quoi d’autres gens se fient pour décider si Celsius est une compagnie à qui ils peuvent faire confiance”,”text”:”la due diligence [vérification préalable] de la CDPQ est ce à quoi d’autres gens se fient pour décider si Celsius est une compagnie à qui ils peuvent faire confiance”}}”>in due diligence [vérification préalable] CDPQ is what other people rely on to decide if Celsius is a company they can trust.

This is the case of a client who sent a letter to Judge Glenn, who claims that he put all his savings into Celsius after noticing the reputation of the company’s business partners.

due diligence] investir des centaines de millions de dollars dans Celsius, j’ai commencé à mettre la plupart de mes cryptoactifs sur la plateforme”,”text”:”Quand j’ai vu des entreprises [qui ont des équipes affectées à la due diligence] investir des centaines de millions de dollars dans Celsius, j’ai commencé à mettre la plupart de mes cryptoactifs sur la plateforme”}}”>When I saw the company [qui ont des équipes affectées à la due diligence] after investing hundreds of millions of dollars in Celsius, I started placing most of my crypto assets on the platformhe writes, before confessing be ashamed for recommending Celsius to friends and family.

Since May, the Caisse has remained relatively silent on the Celsius failures. However, the CDPQ’s head of media relations, Maxime Chagnon, sent a statement to Radio-Canada on Wednesday morning.

The process that Celsius is involved in is complex and will take some time to unravel. As always, our primary concern is protecting the interests of our depositors, the residents of Quebec. Our teams are making every effort to protect our rights, given the ongoing litigation.Mr. Chagnon pointed out, acknowledging that the fund’s investments raises several questions.

He added that some of our investments, such as the investment in Celsius, do not produce the expected results.

The Caisse was reached Friday afternoon to comment on customer feedback filed with the court this week and did not respond to our requests.

Celsius did not respond to our questions.