The Caisse de rentes du Québec loses almost all of its Celsius investment in less than ten months

According to local media outlet LaPresse on Wednesday, Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ), an institutional investor responsible for managing pension assets in the majority French-speaking Canadian province of Quebec, has written off almost all of its 200 million Canadian dollars ($154.7 million) investment in struggling cryptocurrency lender Celsius Network.

The move came just ten months after CDPQ and growth capital firm WestCap made a joint $400 million investment in Celsius at a $3 billion valuation. At that time, Celsius had over 1,000 employees, $25 billion in total assets, and $850 million in accumulated interest paid to depositors.

However, as an unregulated and centralized entity, depositors’ assets are not protected against losses, and the company is not subject to any restrictions on the use of leverage. At the start of this year’s crypto winter, the sudden and violent crash of Bitcoin (BTC) and other digital assets left a $2.85 billion gap in Celsius’ net assets. As a result, it suspended withdrawals from the accounts of nearly 1.7 million customers in June.

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It appears that the loss on Celsius represents only a negligible fraction of the CDPQ’s portfolio. As of June 30, the CDPQ managed combined total assets of C$391.6 billion (or approximately $303.4 billion), down 7.9% over the past six months. The entity is currently evaluating its legal options against Celsius, although it did not share any details. According to court documents, Celsius is expected to run out of money by October.

Dolores W. Simon