Celsius Network is bankrupt, so why is CEL price up 4,000% in two months?

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Crypto lending platform Celsius Network has an approximately $1.2 billion gap in its balance sheet, with most liabilities owed to its users. In addition, the firm has filed for bankruptcy protection, so its future looks bleak.

Still, Celsius Network’s native utility token CEL has soared in valuation by over 4,100% in the last two months, reaching around $3.93 on Aug. 13 compared to its mid-June bottom of $0.093.

In comparison, top coins Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH) rallied 40% and 130% in the same period.

CEL/USD daily price chart. Source: TradingView

Takeover rumors behind CEL explosion?

Technically, the price rally made CEL an excessively valued token in early August when its relative strength index (RSI) crossed above the 70 threshold.

Takeover rumors appear to be behind CEL’s upside strength. Notably, Ripple wants to purchase Celsius Network’s assets, according to an anonymous source cited by Reuters on Aug. 10.

CEL’s price more than doubled after the piece of news hit the wire.

In July, rumors also surfaced about Goldman Sachs’ intention to acquire Celsius Network for $2 billion. CEL was changing hands for as low as $0.39 around that time.

CEL price short squeeze

An army of retail traders also appears to be behind the CEL’s giant upside push in the last two months.

Some traders have organized a short squeeze to limit CEL’s downside prospects. A short squeeze is when an asset’s price rises suddenly, forcing short sellers to buy back the asset at a higher price to close their positions.

It is possible to create a short squeeze because of CEL’s lowering circulating supply, primarily due to the freeze on Celsius Network’s token transfers.

Interestingly, FTX had about 5.1 million CEL tokens on Aug. 13, approximately 90% of all the total circulation across exchanges. Meanwhile, the amount of open short positions on the exchange was around 2.66 million CEL versus the monthly high of 2.96 million CEL on Aug. 11.

FTX sport short. Source: Legacy Synthesis

In other words, short traders have closed about 300,000 CEL positions in just two days.

What’s next for Celsius toke?

Short squeezes are hard to sustain over a long period, history shows.

Such prospects put CEL at risks of facing extreme correction in the coming weeks or months. As said, the token is already overbought, which further adds up to the downside outlook. 

CEL/USD three-day price chart. Source: TradingView

Drawing a Fibonacci retracement graph from $6.5-swing high to $0.39-swing low churns out interim support and resistance levels for CEL. Notably, the token now eyes a breakout above its 0.618 Fib line (~$4.21), with its upside target at $5.25, up 45% from today’s price.

Related: Crypto markets bounced and sentiment improved, but retail has yet to FOMO

Conversely, a break below the support level at the 0.5 Fib line (~$3.48) risks crashing CEL toward $2.75, down 25% from the current price level.

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph.com. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.

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