Are the Mashinsky's Celling Out?
Celsius Network data suggests Alex and Krissy Mashinsky have sold approximately 20 million CEL since October 2020, netting at least $60 million
On 1/7/22, Alex Mashinsky tweeted that he had “bought the dip” on $CEL token, purchasing 19,000 CEL (approximately $60,000):
This self-congratulatory tweet was quickly called out by Twitter user @cel_alert, who complained that while Mr. Mashinsky had just bought 19,000 CEL, he had sold 40,000 CEL over the 10 days prior. Net, Mr. Mashinsky had sold approximately $125,000 worth of CEL during that period:
This made me curious. If Mr. Mashinsky was willing to advertise purchasing CEL when, in fact, he had been a net seller, how had his holdings changed over the last year?
What I found shocked me: If Celsius Network’s public data is accurate, Alex and Krissy Mashinsky have dumped nearly 20 million CEL tokens over the last 1.5 years, worth anywhere between $60-100 million.
1. Alex’s known wallet has sold 1.4 million CEL token since August 2021
After identifying this wallet as Mr. Mashinsky’s (“M-Wallet1”), I reviewed its history. M-Wallet1 first received 1,130,100 CEL token from Celsius Wallet 6 on 07/28/21. Four days later, M-Wallet1 began swapping out allotments of 12,000 CEL at a time to Uniswap for USDC.
This pattern continued with almost daily swaps of CEL for USDC. Some days saw as much as 36,000 CEL sold from M-Wallet1.
On 10/07/21, 966,000 CEL were transferred into M-Wallet1. I haven’t figured out who controls the transferring wallet. However, based on its current CEL balance (1,021,057 CEL) and the high volumes of CEL token sent through this wallet, it is likely either controlled by Celsius or Mr. Mashinsky.
M-Wallet1 then continued its almost-daily sales of 12,000 CEL at a time until 10/23/21, when swaps stopped for 12 days. M-Wallet1 then made its first two purchases of CEL on 11/04/21 (29,039 CEL), 11/15/21 (21,029 CEL), and 11/28/21 (8,000 CEL). The timing is interesting, as this was shortly after Celsius Network announced a financing deal with the CDPQ and Westcap. The deal was announced for $400 million and was expanded to $750 million in November.
M-Wallet1 resumed sales of CEL on 12/04/21, selling approximately 72,000 CEL from 12/04 until 1/04/22. On 1/7/21, Mr. Mashinsky made his first purchase of CEL in over a month.
The timing of these last few sales- from 12/30/21 to 1/04/21- is interesting, because Mr. Mashinsky chose a great time to sell: This was the first time in over a month that CEL’s price was over $4.00 a token, spiking on massive volume:
The spike in CEL price corresponding to Celsius winning the “Best CeFi Lending Platform” at Blockchain Fest 2021, “one of the major crypto and fintech events in Europe and Asia.”
On 12/31/21, as he continued to sell into the price spike, Mr. Mashinsky took to Twitter to hype the price increase, also attributing it to Celsius winning this award:
The details regarding the bizarre nature of the Cel market are too complex for this article, but let’s just say I strongly doubt that the spike in its price was due to Celsius winning this award…
In total, M-Wallet1 has swapped out 1,460,350 CEL since August. Subtracting the cost of swaps in, M-Wallet1 likely netted about $8 million in sales.
This estimate is confirmed by looking at USDC and Ethereum activity from M-Wallet 1. Over the same time period, M-Wallet1 received a net ~$6.1 million in USDC and 812 Ether ($2-3 million) from Uniswap.
And, as documented by Twitter user @cry_the_tylus, these numbers are very similar to the changes in Mr. Mashinsky’s holdings according to Celsius Network’s “Top 500 Hodler” list:
2. Alex has sold 9.6 million CEL since 03/2020
Unfortunately, so far I have only been able to identify the above wallet as belonging to Mr. Mashinsky, making an exact determination of his holdings and sales using on-chain data impossible. However, Celsius Network publishes a regularly-updated “Top 500 Hodler” list that details the holdings of the largest CEL owners.
Using the Wayback Machine, the earliest Top 500 list I was able to obtain was from March 2021 (an earlier archived version from January 2021 failed to load despite multiple attempts). According to this data, on 3/8/2021 Alex Mashinsky owned 57,550,803 CEL worth approximately $290 million (CEL = $5.04). These holdings were split between five wallets, shown below.
Today, according to the Top 500 list, Mashinsky owns 47,922,100 CEL in four wallets. That’s a decrease of 9,628,703 CEL, or 1.4% of CEL’s total market cap of 696,000,000.
Based on the Top 500 list from 8/15/21 shown above, Mashinsky sold 8,417,389 CEL between March and August of 2021. During that time, CEL price fluctuated between $4.70 to its all-time high of $8.01.
This wide range and lack of detailed transactional data makes an exact calculation impossible, but between March and August of 2021, Mashinsky’s CEL sales would have netted him anywhere between $40-67 million. Add in more recent sales from M-Wallet1, and Mr. Mashinsky has netted somewhere between $50-70 million from selling CEL over the last 10 months. Pretty good payday!
3. Krissy Mashinsky sold ~10 million CEL in six months between October 2020 and March 2021.
On October 25, 2020, Alex Mashinsky briefly made headlines after giving his wife and USAStrong.io founder Krissy Mashinsky 15 million CEL for her birthday. At the time, this gift was worth ~$20 million:
Krissy Mashinsky has historically been lauded for “hodling” her CEL token, with @cry_the_tylus showing she had purchased 121,388 CEL between August and December of 2021 (shown above).
However, Krissy’s current holdings of CEL are 5.6 million. Since she was given 15 million, where are the other 9.4 million CEL?
Going back to March 2021’s Top 500 list, Krissy Mashinsky is identified as having 5.2 million CEL, meaning that she sold approximately 9.8 million CEL over a five-month period:
Again, without wallet data we can’t calculate the exact proceeds from these sales. Also, CEL token price increased dramatically soon after the gift was made, rocketing from $1.30 to over $6. This means that, depending on sale patterns, Ms. Mashinsky’s proceeds from these sales could range anywhere between $13-60 million.
Since these sales, Krissy has bought back about 200,000 Cel, likely at a cost between $700,000-1,000,000.
Conclusion: A massive payday for the Mashinsky family
Between Alex and Krissy, it appears their sales of Cel token have netted them anywhere between $60 million to well over $100 million.
When I said what I found had shocked me, that wasn’t hyperbole. While I don’t have a great opinion of Mr. Mashinsky given his past and present behavior, I honestly did not expect him to have sold out to this degree… especially given his regular inducements to his customers to “buy and HODL” Cel token due to its supposed potential.
Given his past business activity, it seems reasonable to assume that Mr. Mashinsky has millions of dollars in assets outside of Celsius. He also has tens to hundreds of millions worth of equity in Celsius. Why, then, has he decided to risk his reputation and credibility by pretending to buy Cel token, when in fact he and his wife are likely the largest individual sellers of Cel token in the market?
Hopefully, Celsius will be transparent in responding to this article and will provide wallet data so we can check our work and ensure its accuracy.