(Bloomberg) -- LedgerX, one of the few solvent pieces of Sam Bankman-Fried’s crumbled FTX empire, is for sale and attracting interest from would-be buyers including crypto giants Blockchain.com and Gemini, according to people familiar with the matter.
The unit, which is registered with the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission as a derivatives exchange, was a cornerstone of Bankman-Fried’s efforts in Washington. It’s also considered one of the most valuable assets associated with FTX after more than 100 other entities filed for bankruptcy.
New FTX Chief Executive Officer John J. Ray III and restructuring advisers have been poring over the company’s books in search of cash, cryptocurrency and assets that could be sold to help repay creditors. It’s unclear how much LedgerX, which had about $303 million in cash as of a Nov. 17 filing, may fetch in a sale.
In addition to Blockchain.com and Gemini, crypto exchange Bitpanda and event contracts trading platform Kalshi, which is also registered with the CFTC and uses LedgerX to clear trades, have expressed interest, the people said. There are about half a dozen other potential buyers and more could be added, said one of the people.
Representatives for LedgerX, FTX, Blockchain.com, Gemini and Kalshi didn’t respond to requests for comment. Bitpanda Chief Executive Officer Eric Demuth said in email that the firm wasn’t interested or considering the purchase.
In a sign that talks are becoming more serious, at least some of the parties have signed non-disclosure agreements, some of the people said.
After FTX US purchased it last year, LedgerX sought approval for a controversial plan to clear crypto derivatives trades without intermediaries. The firm withdrew its application with the CFTC as the corporate group of companies filed for bankruptcy.
As early as Wednesday, LedgerX planned to make $175 million available for use in FTX’s bankruptcy proceedings from a $250 million fund the company set aside as part of that application.
CFTC chairman Rostin Behnam previously told lawmakers his agency is in daily communication with LedgerX amid the FTX turmoil. The potential sale wasn’t discussed.
--With assistance from Hannah Miller.
(Updates with Bitpanda CEO comment in fifth paragraph.)
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