Dim Picture for Customers; Criminal Probe Possible

(Bloomberg) — For customers of FTX, there appears to be little chance of recovering much of their deposits from the collapsed crypto exchange.

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The value of FTX’s key crypto assets has plummeted since Sam Bankman-Fried’s exchange filed for bankruptcy, while an estimated $477 million vanished in unauthorized withdrawals, according to blockchain analytics firm Elliptic.

FTX Trading International held just $900 million in liquid assets on Thursday — the day before it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy — against $9 billion of liabilities, according to sources familiar with the matter who viewed a limited version of a balance sheet. The sheet also referenced a negative $8 billion of a “hidden, poorly internally labeled” fiat currency account and noted $5 billion of withdrawals by users last week.

The Bahamian police are working with the Bahamas Securities Commission to investigate whether there was any criminal misconduct in FTX’s collapse. Bankman-Fried was questioned by Bahamian police and regulators Saturday, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Key stories and developments:

  • FTX’s Balance Sheet, Hack Paint Dim Picture for User Recovery

  • Bankman-Fried: From Crypto King to King of Tech Bubble’s Losers

  • Big Investors Are Giving Up on Crypto Markets Going Mainstream

  • Summers Says FTX Meltdown Has ‘Whiffs’ of Enron-Like Scandal (1)

  • ‘It’s All Gone’: FTX Bankruptcy Is Worst Fear for Retail Traders

(All time references are New York)

FTX’s Serum Project Is in Distress (1:05 p.m.)

Tokens issued by Serum, a liquidity infrastructure hub built by FTX and used by market makers and lending protocols on Solana, tumbled more than 23% on Sunday alone, pricing data from CoinGecko showed. FTX owned more than $2.2 billion worth of the token as of Thursday, the Financial Times reported, citing investor materials.

Developers attached to Serum split off the project’s code in a so-called fork amid concern that an upgrade key controlling the program could be compromised, a Solana spokesperson said.

Galois Confirms $40 Million Exposure (12:26 p.m.)

Crypto hedge fund Galois Capital is the latest company to confirm its exposure to the collapsed FTX cryptocurrency exchange. In a direct message to Bloomberg News, Galois said its exposure was between $40 million to $45 million. On Friday, Galois said on Twitter that it had “significant” funds in FTX. Galois was an early critic of the now failed Terra blockchain and its TerraUSD algorithmic stablecoin.

Bahamian Police Look Into Criminal Probe (11:53 a.m.)

A team from the Financial Crimes Investigation Branch is working with the Bahamas Securities Commission to investigate if any criminal misconduct occurred in the collapse of FTX.

Solana Slide Deepens; Bitcoin and Ether Stable (8:30 a.m.)

A three-day decline for crypto altcoin Solana deepened on Sunday, as developers considered spinning off one of the blockchain network’s most prominent and FTX-affiliated project. Solana fell as much as 14% to $12.86 as of 1:30 p.m. in London. Crypto bellwethers Bitcoin and Ether have lost a little over 1% each in the last 24 hours.

Other altcoins including Polkadot, Avalanche and Tron, typically more volatile than larger cryptocurrencies due to lower liquidity levels, lost between 1.7% and 5.4%.

Binance Stops Deposits of FTX’s Token FTT (3:30 a.m. Sunday)

Binance halted deposits of FTT, FTX’s token, “to prevent potential of questionable additional supplies affecting the market,” Binance CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao said on Twitter. Zhao said that he would encourage other exchanges to do the same thing. Justin Sun said Huobi Global would echo Zhao’s advice.

Zhao added that FTT contract deployers moved all remaining FTT supplies worth $400 million, “which should be unlocked in batches.” Binance followed up to say it had noticed a “suspicious movement” of a large amount of FTT by the token’s contract deployers.

Matrixport Says 79 Clients Affected by FTX, ‘No Risk of Insolvency’ (11:38 p.m. Saturday)

Crypto financial-services platform Matrixport “continues to operate normally and the company has no risk of insolvency with respect to the developments at FTX and Alameda,” according to Ross Gan, head of public relations.

Matrixport had 79 clients that incurred losses via exposure to three products on its platform that were linked to FTX, Gan said.

Kraken Freezes Accounts Possibly Related to FTX (11:33 p.m.)

Crypto exchange Kraken said it has frozen Kraken account access to certain funds it suspects to be associated with “fraud, negligence or misconduct” related to FTX. Kraken said in a tweet it’s in contact with law enforcement and plans to resolve each account on a case-by-case basis.

Bankman-Fried Interviewed by Police in Bahamas (9:42 p.m.)

Former crypto mogul Sam Bankman-Fried was interviewed by Bahamian police and regulators on Saturday, according to a person familiar with the matter. Bankman-Fried didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

The inquiries from Bahamian authorities add to the mounting legal pressure that Bankman-Fried is facing since his FTX empire crumbled over the past week. In the US, he is facing scrutiny from the Securities and Exchange Commission over whether he broke securities rules.

Bahamas Says it Didn’t Authorize Local Withdrawals by FTX Exchange (9 p.m.)

Bankrupt crypto exchange FTX’s move to allow withdrawals in the Bahamas was questioned by the nation’s securities regulator.

The Securities Commission of the Bahamas in a statement Saturday said that it hadn’t “directed, authorized or suggested” the prioritization of local withdrawals to FTX Digital Markets Ltd.

It added that such withdrawals could be clawed back.

Jump Crypto Says It Remains Well Capitalized After FTX Exposure (5:59 p.m.)

Jump Crypto, a cryptocurrency trading firm, told customers on Saturday it remains “well capitalized” after exposure to FTX. In a series of tweets, Jump said its exposure was “managed in accordance with our risk framework.” The company did not specify the exact nature of its exposure.

FTX to Seek Enforcement Aid on Unauthorized Withdrawals (1:46 p.m.)

FTX is launching an investigation with law enforcement into unauthorized withdrawals from some of its crypto wallets, a company executive said. The company, which filed for bankruptcy this week, said it is cooperating and coordinating with “law enforcement and relevant regulators.”

Liabilities Dwarfed Liquid Assets: FT (1:13 p.m.)

FTX Trading held $900 million in liquid assets against $9 billion of liabilities the day before the bankruptcy filing, the Financial Times reported, citing investment materials and a spreadsheet the newspaper had seen. Most of the recorded assets are either illiquid venture capital investments or crypto tokens that are not widely traded. The biggest asset as of Thursday was listed as $2.2 billion worth of a cryptocurrency called Serum.

(Recasts top with balance sheet)

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