Nov 16, 2022
FTX Latest: Bankman-Fried Admits Error as Congress Plans Probe
(Bloomberg) -- There’s “significant” concern that FTX management, led by Sam Bankman-Fried, lacked authority to put the crypto businesses into bankruptcy in the US, liquidators, appointed by a Bahamian court to take over FTX Digital Markets Ltd.’s affairs said. The embattled cryptocurrency mogul and two other top FTX executives, received massive loans from affiliated trading arm, Alameda Research, according to a bankruptcy court filing Thursday.
Advisers overseeing the bankruptcy of FTX Group are struggling to locate the company’s cash and crypto, citing poor internal controls and record keeping. The complete failure of corporate controls at the company is “unprecedented,” according to new Chief Executive Officer John J. Ray III, who had a more than 40-year career in restructurings, including overseeing the liquidation of Enron.
US lawyers for the bankrupt crypto platform said in a court filing that Bankman-Fried is undermining efforts to reorganize his crumbling empire with “incessant and disruptive tweeting.”
Key stories and developments:
- Here Are the Wildest Parts of the New FTX Bankruptcy Filing
- FTX Offers a Master Class in Crypto Market’s Flaws: Editorial
- Odd Lots: Understanding the Collapse of Sam Bankman-Fried’s Crypto Empire
- Winklevoss Faithful Have a $700 Million Problem in Genesis Halt
- Silbert’s Once-$10 Billion Crypto Empire Is Showing Cracks
(Time references are New York unless otherwise stated.)
FTX’s ‘Zombie’ Token Still Has Value (3:34 p.m.)
A cryptocurrency whose sponsor went belly up, with no obvious use and a sordid role in a complicated deception? And still there’s about $500 million of the tokens sloshing around on digital trading platforms.
That’s the FTT token from the now-bankrupt exchange FTX, whose demise has cast a pall on the crypto space that industry participant say could take years to be lifted. The token reached a high of nearly $85 in September of last year, and though it’s seen its price drop roughly 98% since then, it still sports an eye-popping hypothetical market value on different exchanges and platforms.
Liquidators Concerned That FTX Had No Authority to File Bankruptcy (1:07 p.m.)
Liquidators, appointed by a Bahamian court to take over FTX Digital Markets Ltd.’s affairs said they have “significant” concern that FTX management, led by Sam Bankman-Fried, lacked authority to put the crypto businesses into bankruptcy in the US.
More than 100 FTX-related entities filed for Chapter 11 in the US Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware after insolvency proceedings for Bahamas-based FTX Digital began on the island on Nov. 10.
Bankman-Fried Received $1 Billion Loan (11:39 a.m.)
FTX co-founder Samuel Bankman-Fried, one of his related companies, and two other top executives at the collapsed cryptocurrency exchange received massive loans from affiliated trading arm, Alameda Research, according to a bankruptcy court filing Thursday.
Alameda’s receivables included $4.1 billion in combined loans to “related parties,” according to a footnote in a document filed by John J. Ray III, who was appointed to oversee FTX as its chief executive officer during the proceedings. That includes $1 billion to Bankman-Fried, $2.3 billion to Paper Bird Inc., an entity majority owned by Bankman-Fried, $543 million to Nishad Singh, head of engineering at FTX, and $55 million to Ryan Salame, head of FTX Digital Markets.
Franklin CEO: Decentralized Exchanges Will Get More Attention (11:24 a.m.)
Franklin Templeton’s Jenny Johnson sees the downfall of FTX likely pushing investors toward decentralized exchanges and seeking professional guidance on crypto assets.
The failure of the centralized exchange would drive crypto investors toward versions like Uniswap or SushiSwap, which are built on public chains, Franklin’s president and chief executive officer told Bloomberg News on Wednesday.
Democratic Senators Want Answers (11:14 a.m.)
Democratic Senators Elizabeth Warren and Dick Durbin seek information from FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried on FTX’s collapse, in a letter to Bankman-Fried and the crypto exchange’s newly appointed CEO John Jay Ray III.
New FTX CEO Can’t Locate Company’s Cash, Crypto (9:29 a.m.)
Advisers now overseeing the carcass of Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX Group are struggling to locate the company’s cash and crypto, citing poor internal controls and record keeping.
“Never in my career have I seen such a complete failure of corporate controls and such a complete absence of trustworthy financial information,” John J. Ray III, the group’s new chief executive officer who formerly oversaw the liquidation of Enron Corp., said in a sworn declaration submitted in bankruptcy court.
FTX Lawyers Accuse Bankman-Fried of Undermining Bankruptcy (8:39 a.m.)
Embattled cryptocurrency mogul Sam Bankman-Fried is undermining efforts to reorganize his crumbling empire with “incessant and disruptive tweeting” that appears aimed at moving assets away from the control of a US court in favor of one in the Bahamas, US lawyers for the bankrupt crypto platform FTX said in a court filing.
FTX, which is now under the control of John J. Ray III -- a restructuring lawyer who oversaw the liquidation of Enron -- asked a federal judge in Wilmington, Delaware, to transfer a competing bankruptcy case filed in New York by Bahamian liquidators to Delaware.
Binance Suspends Deposits of USDC (SOL), USDT (SOL) Token (7:57 a.m. New York)
Binance has temporarily suspended deposits of USDC (SOL) and USDT (SOL) “until further notice,” the company announced on its blog.
Binance Evidence on FTX Collapse Unacceptable, UK Lawmakers Say (6:27 a.m. New York)
Binance sent news articles -- rather than internal records -- to a UK Parliamentary committee probing the collapse of FTX.com and its planned sale of FTT token, a move that some UK lawmakers called disappointing and unacceptable.
Alison Thewliss, a member of the UK’s Treasury Committee, said in an interview on Bloomberg Radio that Binance sent news articles to the committee, while it had expected to receive internal records about the potential market consequences of Binance’s announced divestment of FTT. Thewliss said that Binance’s lack of transparency would influence the committee’s recommendations to government on regulating the crypto industry.
Gopax Says Some Payments Being Delayed Due to Genesis Global (5:35 p.m. HK)
South Korean crypto exchange Gopax notified its users that payments in one of its depository products linked to Genesis Global Capital are being delayed, according to a statement on its website posted late Wednesday. The product named ‘GOFi’ is provided by Genesis, Gopax’s second largest shareholder and a key business partner
Binance Is Preparing to Bid for Voyager Digital, CoinDesk Says (4:10 p.m HK)
Binance.US is preparing to bid for bankrupt crypto lender Voyager Digital, CoinDesk reported, citing a person familiar with the matter.
Voyager has been trying to sign a deal to sell itself to one of the bidders that lost out in an auction won by FTX. The sale to FTX valued at about $1.4 billion collapsed after the former’s own bankruptcy.
Voyager filed for bankruptcy protection in July after a failed attempt by FTX-affiliated Alameda Research to bail it out with a revolving line of credit.
FTX Wipeout Is Fresh Test of Nerves for Asia Regulators (4:00 p.m. HK)
Crypto’s latest existential crisis flared amid far-reaching planned changes in the digital-asset rulebooks of Asian centers including Hong Kong and Singapore. Officials in both jurisdictions and further afield face calls to ensure greater transparency, especially on customer assets.
Hong Kong two weeks ago pivoted to a more welcoming stance, detailing plans to become a crypto hub with legalized retail trading and dedicated exchange-traded funds. Singapore, in contrast, is clamping down on retail crypto trading, focusing instead on productive applications of blockchain technology.
Both appear to be sticking with their diverging regulatory paths.
--With assistance from Sunil Jagtiani and Dara Doyle.
©2022 Bloomberg L.P.