FTX fallout: Crypto markets on the back foot as investors pull funds

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Sam Bankman-Fried’s bankrupt FTX crypto exchange owes its 50 top unsecured creditors a total of $3.1 billion. FTX Trading Ltd. and about 100 affiliated companies are starting a strategic review of global assets.


Investors continue to pull funds from digital-asset exchanges despite the latter’s efforts to reassure markets about their stability. Crypto lender BlockFi Inc. is on the cusp of its own Chapter 11 filing.


Crypto markets are on the back foot, holding Sunday losses that have pushed Bitcoin — the largest token — to about $16,000. Second-ranked Ether is also struggling amid indications that some of the $663 million drained from FTX as it slid into bankruptcy is now being transferred out of the token.


(Time references are New York unless otherwise stated.)


Bill Ackman Says He’s Invested in Crypto (6:25 a.m. HK)


The Pershing Square CEO said in tweets laying out his thoughts on the crypto industry that he has investments in a number of crypto projects, including VC funds and firms that help with compliance or reducing fraud in the industry. The crypto investments represent less than 2% of his assets, he added.


Ackman said that he remained positive on crypto overall despite the recent troubles, comparing its future potential impact on the economy and society to that of the telephone and internet.


Celsius Was Lax With Crypto Custody, Examiner Finds (12:45 a.m. HK)


A new report on the bankrupt crypto lender details shortfalls in controls and operations at two of the company’s product offerings.


The programs, Custody and Withhold, allowed users to keep their digital coins in the lender while supposedly maintaining ownership of them. The programs’ users have been claiming that they shouldn’t be lumped together with other unsecured creditors and should be reimbursed in full.


Examiner Shoba Pillay found that Celsius launched the Custody program “without sufficient accounting and operational controls or technical infrastructure.” As a result, Custody wallets were overfunded through June 10, but then became underfunded by $50.5 million — a 24% shortfall — by June 24.


Vitalik Buterin: FTX Offers Lessons for Crypto (11:00 p.m. HK)


Despite the recent upheaval, Buterin said blockchain base layers and decentralized-finance protocols worked “flawlessly.”


“What happened at FTX was of course a huge tragedy,” he told Bloomberg. “That said, many in the Ethereum community also see the situation as a validation of things they believed in all along: centralized anything is by default suspect.”


FTX Owes 50 Biggest Unsecured Creditors More Than $3 Billion (10:45 pm HK)


Bankman-Fried’s bankrupt crypto empire owes its 50 biggest unsecured creditors a total of $3.1 billion, court papers show.


FTX-linked entities owe their single biggest unsecured creditor more than $226 million, according to a redacted list in court papers filed late Saturday.


All of them were listed as customers and 10 have claims of more than $100 million each, the filings show.


The 50 largest claims are all from customers owed $21 million or more.


FTX Starts Global Asset Review as Part of Chapter 11 (3:18 a.m.)


FTX Trading Ltd. and about 100 affiliated companies are starting a strategic review of global assets as a part of the Chapter 11 bankruptcy process.


“Based on our review over the past week, we are pleased to learn that many regulated or licensed subsidiaries of FTX, within and outside of the US, have solvent balance sheets, responsible management and valuable franchises,” FTX Group’s new Chief Executive Officer John J. Ray III said in a statement.


The FTX companies, known as FTX Debtors, have engaged Perella Weinberg Partners LP as lead investment bank and started preparing some assets for sale or reorganization, according to the statement.


FTX Japan to Develop System for Withdrawals: Asahi (11:54 p.m.)


The Japan unit of FTX has started developing a system that will enable customers to withdraw their funds, the Asahi newspaper reported Saturday, citing company executive Seth Melamed.


FTX Fires Sam Bankman-Fried’s Top Deputies, WSJ Reports (10:07 p.m.)


FTX said it fired three top deputies of former Chief Executive Officer Sam Bankman-Fried, the Wall Street Journal reported.


FTX co-founder and chief technology officer Gary Wang, engineering director Nishad Singh and Caroline Ellison, who ran Alameda Research, were terminated from their positions, the paper said, citing an FTX spokeswoman late Friday. The paper didn’t say if it attempted to reach the executives for comment.

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