Convert his debt into a new cryptocurrency

Customer funds have been in limbo since bankrupt crypto lender Celsius froze withdrawals in June. Now, leaked audio shared with CNBC reveals a tentative plan to compensate her.

The company wants to issue an “IOU” cryptocurrency to customers who have signed up for some of its accounts.

The recording was provided by Tiffany Fong, who says she is one of the 500,000 Celsius customers whose funds are locked on the platform. Fong says she received the audio from a self-identified employee who remained anonymous during his communications.

CNBC could not confirm the leaked audio is the entire exchange of an internal meeting on Sept. 1. However, CNBC spoke to former employees who confirmed the recording is authentic. In the audio, Chief Technology Officer Guillermo Bodnar says the plan is in an “early stage.” What is planned may have changed in the weeks since the call.

In the note, Celsius co-founder Nuke Goldstein outlines a compensation plan for customers who have deposited assets into Celsius’s “Earn” account, on which Celsius had promised returns of up to 17%.

Goldstein said Celsius would issue “wrapped tokens” that would act as promissory notes for customers. The tokens represent the ratio between what Celsius owes customers and the assets available to them. He said if customers wait to redeem their tokens, there’s a better chance the gap between what Celsius has and what it owes will narrow.

That’s a risky bet on appreciation for a nascent token from a company that has just emerged from bankruptcy. Goldstein said the value is likely to increase because Celsius has revenue from its mining business, staking ETH and other coins that could become liquid.

According to Goldstein, Celsius also intends to allow customers to redeem these tokens. He said the tokens could be redeemed at Celsius at a value likely below what they’re owed, or on crypto platforms like Uniswap, allowing the market to determine the value of the tokens.

In this photo illustration the Celsius Network logo seen seen on a smartphone screen alongside Bitcoin cryptocurrencies.

Rafael Henrique | SOPA images | Light Rocket | Getty Images

The refund isn’t the only plan Celsius has in the works. In a segment of the record shared exclusively with CNBC, Bodnar said the company is also building a transaction management system designed to track the company’s blockchain assets. This includes the assets, the price at which they were bought and how much they were worth when sold.

Celsius, which it says manages billions of dollars in client assets, has never had sophisticated software to properly manage and track its assets, according to sources familiar with the company. Those sources, who asked not to be named for confidentiality reasons, also said the data was manually tracked in a simple Excel spreadsheet.

On the conference call, Bodnar said the goal for building this new system is transparency.

“…[T]Transparency is not only reflected in how we communicate, but ensures that everything done within our platform is traceable, auditable and end-to-end – we have nothing to hide,” he said.

Goldstein also stressed that there was a lot of disinformation about the company circulating on Twitter and that employees should only rely on information contained in court documents and CEO Alex Mashinsky’s town halls.

“If you go to Twitter, bring an umbrella because it’s raining Taurus over there,” Goldstein said. “This is your opportunity to learn the truth. If we don’t tell you the truth about what we know, we’re going to jail. Well, I don’t know if we’re going to jail…but it’s no good.”

During the Q&A portion of the event, a questioner asked where employees were on regarding the release of their blocked funds from the platform. Goldstein said employees are not prioritized over customers.

“Employees are not last or first,” Goldstein said. “You are also a customer. We are customer. That means we are on an equal footing with the customers.”

CNBC reached out to Celsius for comment on its reimbursement plan and the status of its transaction management system, but the company has not responded.

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