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FTX in Advanced Talks with Bidders to Relaunch Crypto Exchange

Prices for FTX Group claims have seen a significant boost in value as the company enters advanced talks with potential bidders to resurrect its shuttered crypto exchange. 

On Wednesday, Cherokee Acquisition, a firm specializing in brokering bankruptcy claims, reported a surge in FTX Group claim prices, with quotes ranging between 50 and 53 cents on the dollar, a notable increase from the low-to-mid 40 cents range just last week. 

This development has captured the attention of major investors, who have been actively buying and selling FTX claims. Notably, these claims encompass various rights, including access to FTX accounts and damages from abandoned contracts.

Revival Discussions Underway

This surge in investor interest follows a recent court statement made by FTX’s investment banker, Kevin M. Cofsky unveiling the company’s active engagement with various parties, alluding to a range of strategic options currently under deliberation. 

We are engaging with multiple parties every day,” said Cofsky without disclosing the identities of the bidders.

That said, the options at hand under discussion by the bidders and FTX include the potential sale of the entire exchange, collaboration with external entities to spearhead the exchange’s renaissance, or the self-initiated relaunch of the exchange.

Notably, in June, FTX’s restructuring chief, John Ray, declared that the company had “begun the process of soliciting interested parties to the reboot of the exchange.” In late July a draft plan for FTX introducing a prospective pathway for claimant groups to revive the dormant exchange through strategic cooperation with external investors was also tabled in court.

Moreover, a recent court document showed that FTX has successfully recovered about $7.3 billion, further igniting optimism about a potential revival. 

Diverse Opinions

However, not everyone in the crypto industry supports the idea of a relaunch.  Recently, Kraken’s co-founder Jesse Powell noted that “FTX 2.0 would be worse than starting from scratch” due to the lack of a team, technology, licenses, and its tarnished brand. 

The trustee should just auction off the domain and trademark to the highest bidder. Anything beyond that is simply a fee extraction attack on delusional creditors,” added Powell.

The downfall of FTX last November was characterized by the resignation of its co-founder, Sam Bankman-Fried, from his CEO position. This move came as the company grappled with financial turmoil, ultimately leading to the suspension of its trading operations.

Sam Bankman-Fried currently faces legal proceedings in New York, as he is accused of diverting FTX customer funds into, Almeda Research, another entity under his control. Allegedly, these funds were utilized for high-risk investments, political contributions, and extravagant property acquisitions. 

Meanwhile, as negotiations progress, FTX creditors have been cautioned against “priority withdrawal” phishing scams and fraudulent emails where scammers dupe individuals into divulging sensitive information under the pretense of expediting the retrieval of their funds.

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