San Francisco’s blockchain payments Fintech Ripple Labs Inc, which is currently involved in an extensive legal battle with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), is reportedly interested in acquiring the assets of bankrupt cryptocurrency lending platform Celsius Network. This, according to statements shared by a company representative.
As first reported by Reuters, the spokesperson said that they are “interested in learning about Celsius and its assets, and whether any could be relevant to our business.” The spokesperson did not confirm whether Ripple Inc would be interested in acquiring Celsius (as a business).
Ripple has been focused on expanding operations, even during the cryptocurrency market turmoil and is looking for M&A deals to further scale the firm.
New Jersey-headquartered Celsius had suspended withdrawals in June of this year, while noting that the move was due to “extreme” market conditions. Celsius proceeded to file for bankruptcy in New York this past month. The firm claimed it has a $1.19 billion deficit on its balance sheet.
This past week, the legal team for Ripple turned in filings to the bankruptcy court so they could be represented in the proceedings.
The court has reportedly approved the filing. Ripple isn’t one of Celsius’ large creditors, Celsius’ bankruptcy filings revealed. Ripple had offered the comment after Reuters had inquired about such details.
A lawyer who has been approved to represent Ripple did not comment on the matter. Meanwhile, Celsius didn’t respond to a request for additional comments on the potential deal.
Digital currencies have had an unstable and highly volatile year.
Bitcoin (BTC), the flagship cryptocurrency, is down almost 70% from its all-time high of nearly $70,000 back in November. Markets have been shaken by the spectacular collapse of the terraUSD and luna tokens in May 2022, which led to massive losses for major industry participants.
As noted in the bankruptcy filings, Celsius’ assets include crypto-assets that are held in custody accounts, loans, a BTC mining business, the firm’s CEL token as well as cash and virtual currencies that Celsius has as well.
It’s worth noting that Ripple hasn’t entered any major deals. The Fintech had been valued at about $15 billion after a private stock buyback in January 2022, the firm revealed.
Ripple’s total sales of its digital asset XRP, net of purchases, stood at $408.9 million for Q2, compared with $273.27 million for Q1.
The firm has been sued by the SEC (back in 2020) over issues related to XRP.
The SEC claims that Ripple and its executives have been carrying out a $1.3 billion unregistered securities offering by selling the digital currency XRP, which Ripple’s founders developed over 10 years ago.
As expected, Ripple and its executives have denied such types of allegations, and the firm has also stated that XRP has traded and been used as a virtual currency (and not a security).