Mar 21, 2023
FTX’s LedgerX Attracts Bids From Firms Including Miami Exchange
(Bloomberg) -- FTX has attracted bidders including Miami International Securities Exchange for its crypto-derivatives platform, LedgerX, one of the few solvent pieces of Sam Bankman-Fried’s former empire.
The exchange, known as MIAX and owned by Miami International Holdings Inc., made an offer for LedgerX, which is being sold in FTX’s bankruptcy proceedings, according to people with knowledge of the matter. Other bidders include Kalshi Inc., the people said, asking not to be identified because the discussions are private. The size of the bids couldn’t immediately be learned.
LedgerX would give MIAX a registered platform to expand its presence in the crypto industry. MIAX already operates a clearinghouse it got as part of its 2020 acquisition of the Minneapolis Grain Exchange, but LedgerX technology would give it a window into the crypto industry.
Kalshi, an exchange dedicated to trading on future events, became federally regulated by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission in 2020. It received $30 million in 2021 from Henry Kravis and other investors, including Sequoia Capital and Charles Schwab. It uses LedgerX as its clearinghouse, making any acquisition a natural fit for the company.
Preliminary non-binding bids were due Jan. 25, and an auction is set for April 4. Talks are ongoing, and bids could change depending on the outcome of the negotiations, the people said.
Representatives for MIAX and Kalshi declined to comment. FTX didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.
LedgerX is registered with the CFTC, and was an important part of Bankman-Fried’s push to gain power and influence in Washington. The unit had sought approval to clear crypto derivatives trades without intermediaries, then withdrew the application after FTX imploded.
Read More: FTX’s Crypto Kids Came Dangerously Close to Upending Futures
The crypto industry is under scrutiny as US watchdogs ramp up oversight. That’s pushed more trading to traditional players such as CME Group Inc. and Cboe Global Markets Inc., as investors look for ways to hedge their exposure to Bitcoin and Ether.
--With assistance from Jeremy Hill and Lydia Beyoud.
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