Goldman Sachs Approached to Broker Deal for Crypto Lender Celsius’ Assets

The bank was approached by at least one institutional investor asking Goldman to advise and broker a potential deal for Celsius’ assets, according to sources familiar with the matter.


Source: Shutterstock


key takeaways

  • The potential deal comes as Goldman increasingly explores digital assets, including starting its own in-house trading desk
  • The bank would not carry any exposure to the struggling lender under the proposed arrangement

Investment banking powerhouse Goldman Sachs is considering helping an investor raise approximately $2 billion to snap up distressed assets stuck in limbo from troubled digital asset lender Celsius, according to two sources familiar with the matter. 

The deal — which one source said likely would occur via the investment bank’s asset management unit — could see investors purchase assets from Celsius at a discount, even if the lender does not declare bankruptcy. The source said the $2 billion is an estimate at this stage.

A spokesperson for Goldman was not immediately available for comment. Sources were granted anonymity to discuss sensitive business dealings. CoinDesk first reported the capital raise. 

One source made it clear Goldman would not own or oversee the acquired assets, stressing Goldman would be a broker, not an investor in the potential deal. 

It is understood Goldman moved quickly to explore the potential deal, but its initial response was not favorable. The would-be buyer of Celsius’ assets is understood to be canvassing other organizations with the capability to broker a deal. 

The move follows Goldman’s recent bullish push into crypto, including establishing its own trading desks and gauging interest from institutional investors in lending products. The strategy preceded Celsius significantly. 

Celsius, which ran $12 billion in May, has been on the brink of insolvency since the firm abruptly said it would halt all withdrawals from its platform earlier this month. In the event of a bankruptcy proceeding, customers would be considered unsecured creditors — and thus far down the list in terms of recouping their assets. 

“Goldman didn’t want to buy into the top of the market,” one source said. “This is more their style.”

The source drew a parallel between the woes of star stock trader Gabe Plotkin’s now-shuttered Melvin Capital, which took an emergency cash infusion from Steve Cohen’s Point72 Asset Management and Ken Griffin’s Citadel.

Though Melvin closed after a kerfuffle in which the firm tried to launch a new fund to keep taking in limited partner management fees, the hedge fund firm did not go bankrupt. 

Whether Celisus does remains to be seen.  

This story has been revised to reflect new information emerging. It is a developing story and will be updated accordingly. Correction: The story initially stated Goldman could purchase Celsius’ assets outright via its asset management arm. The bank is advising on a potential deal with third parties as a broker of the transaction.

Start your day with top crypto insights from David Canellis and Katherine Ross. Subscribe to the Empire newsletter.

The Lightspeed newsletter is all things Solana, in your inbox, every day. Subscribe to daily Solana news from Jack Kubinec and Jeff Albus.


Upcoming Events

Salt Lake City, UT

MON - TUES, OCT. 7 - 8, 2023

Blockworks and Bankless in collaboration with buidlbox are excited to announce the second installment of the Permissionless Hackathon – taking place October 7-8 in Salt Lake City, Utah. We’ve partnered with buidlbox to bring together the brightest minds in crypto for […]

Salt Lake City, UT

WED - FRI, OCTOBER 9 - 11, 2024

Pack your bags, anon — we’re heading west! Join us in the beautiful Salt Lake City for the third installment of Permissionless. Come for the alpha, stay for the fresh air. Permissionless III promises unforgettable panels, killer networking opportunities, and mountains […]

recent research

Research Report Cover Vertex.jpg


The proliferation of new perp DEXs has led to fragmented liquidity across various DEXs and chains. Vertex, known for its vertically-integrated DEX that includes spot, perpetual, and integrated money markets, is now tackling cross-chain liquidity fragmentation through horizontal integration with the launch of new Edge instances. Vertex's integrated offerings and cross-margined account structure amplify the benefits of new instances: native cross-chain spot trading, optimized cross-chain basis trading, consistent interest rates, reduced bridging friction, and more.


Partnering with EtherFi and Angle, the fully on-chain perp DEX features bespoke collateral



Gavin Wood introduced the next evolutionary step for the Polkadot network: the Join-Accumulate Machine, or JAM


The side events were the places to be at Consensus 2024, according to attendees


Also, who’s come out swinging in the spot ether ETF fee war — and who could undercut them


I know it is not in their nature, but US regulators could learn a lot by researching the digital asset frameworks that overseas regulators have already gotten right


Also, the ETF hype train can count out at least one member