On October 5, the embattled crypto lender filed a 14,000-page court document that reveals the usernames and recent transactions of every user on the platform. And now there is a website where everyone can check how much money did the customer lose by simply typing their name in the search bar.
Below the search bar, there’s also a questionable “leaderboard” — a top ten of Celsius’ biggest losers, each of whom has lost at least $12 million.
“This Celsius leak may go down as one of the greatest breaches of customer information ever. Names, balances and transaction ids. Any wallet that’s ever touched Celsius is now exposed and linked to an ID,” one individual tweeted. “A perfect demonstration of why KYC only hurts honest consumers.”
The website presumably relies on the data from Celsius’ court filing, but many users have since reported that the balances aren’t always accurate. Some have even suggested that the website could be some kind of a tracking scam, so using VPN or Tor is strongly advised when interacting with the suspicious tool.
Obviously, such a massive disclosure of sensitive user data sparked outrage from the crypto community, with many fearing that high-net-worth traders could be targeted by blockchain criminals.
“Seems like, among other things, anyone can now dox all the on-chain activity and addresses of any named Celsius user, by matching the dates and exact amounts to transaction data,” Henry de Valence, the founder of Web3 startup Penumbra Labs, wrote on Twitter.
As Celsius' court filing draws strong condemnation from the crypto community, it’s worth noting that its legal team actually attempted to avoid full disclosure by requesting to seal all the personally identifiable information in the filing. However, the U.S. bankruptcy court trustee William Harrington objected to the motion by Celsius, pointing out that submitting the list of creditor names and addresses — the creditor matrix — is a standard requirement for the Chapter 11 bankruptcy procedure.
In his objection, Harrington argued that the bankruptcy case needs to be “open and transparent,” adding that Celsius needs to “demonstrate extraordinary circumstances and a compelling need to obtain protection to justify any such request.” For those unfamiliar with legal speak, the trustee basically said that they’re not going to rewrite the bankruptcy code just because Celsius is crypto. Still, addresses and emails were allowed to be removed.
In fact, Celsius had a strong stake in keeping the records private — and it’s not because they were so concerned about their customers' privacy. The report revealed that Celsius’ key executives have pulled money out of the platform before the details of its liquidity troubles became public.
According to the documents, former CEO Alex Mashinsky and former Chief Strategy Officer Daniel Leon withdrew the combined $17 million before the collapse of the company. Meanwhile, Mashinsky’s wife Kristine appears to have pulled out over $2 million in CEL tokens before all withdrawals were frozen.
A Mashinsky spokesperson, cited by the Financial Times, said that the former CEO “withdrew a percentage of cryptocurrency in his account, much of which was used to pay state and federal taxes.”