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Regulators in Five States Target Celsius Over Withdrawal Freeze: Report

State securities regulators have opened investigations into the crypto lender's decision to freeze accounts, Texas’ enforcement director told Reuters.

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Celsius Network is a crypto lending company. Image: Shutterstock

Securities regulators in five states have set their sights on crypto lending company Celsius Network over its decision to suspend customer withdrawals this week, according to a report by Reuters.

Joseph Rotunda, Texas State Securities Board director of enforcement, told Reuters that officials in Texas, Alabama, Kentucky, New Jersey, and Washington are making it a “priority” to investigate the crypto lender.

"I am very concerned that clientsincluding many retail investorsmay need to immediately access their assets yet are unable to withdraw from their accounts," Rotunda told Reuters. "The inability to access their investment may result in significant financial consequences."

Rotunda said state regulators met on Monday to begin their investigations into Celsius, which froze client accounts on Sunday in an apparent liquidity crisis.

In a blog post, Celsius told its over 1.7 million customers that it would pause withdrawals, swaps, and transfers between accounts, citing "extreme market conditions."

"We are taking this action today to put Celsius in a better position to honor, over time, its withdrawal obligations," the post read. Following the announcement, Celsius' native token CEL plunged 70% in one hour from $0.49 earlier on Sunday to $0.15, according to CoinMarketCap.

At the moment, the CEL token is the 148th largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, currently trading at $0.53, up 1% in the last 24hrs.

On Wednesday, Celsius CEO Alex Mashinsky broke a three-day silence and took to Twitter to say that the company is focused on its customers’ concerns and is thankful to have heard from so many. "To see you come together is a clear sign our community is the strongest in the world," Mashinsky tweeted. "This is a difficult moment; your patience and support mean the world to us."

While Mashinsky put on an optimistic tone on social media, Celsius began hiring restructuring attorneys from the law firm Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP for financial guidance, according to the Wall Street Journal.

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