• FTX’s attorneys have identified and valued $5.5 billion in assets hidden away in customer accounts or other portions of the business.
• Of the $5.5 billion, FTX has cash on its books in the amount of $1.7 billion, and cryptocurrency assets make up another $3.5 billion.
• The cryptocurrency assets include more well-known coins like Bitcoin as well as other coins with less certain values.
FTX, once a promising cryptocurrency exchange, declared bankruptcy two months ago. The complexity of the task of untangling and recovering the assets connected to FTX became more apparent as the attorneys from the New York firm of Sullivan & Cromwell provided additional information regarding the nature of the assets. Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder of FTX, invested money in a variety of assets, from obscure cryptocurrency to stakes in hundreds of other businesses, in just three years.
The attorneys have identified and valued $5.5 billion in assets hidden away in customer accounts or other portions of the business. Of the $5.5 billion, FTX has cash on its books in the amount of $1.7 billion. Cryptocurrency assets make up another $3.5 billion or more; this group comprises more well-known coins like Bitcoin as well as other coins with less certain values. The coins are relatively simple to trade, according to the attorneys, thus the digital currency stockpile can be converted into cash. The amount includes $268 million in Bitcoin and $245 million in so-called “stablecoins,” which are digital assets pegged to the value of the US dollar.
The attorneys have also discovered assets that are more difficult to value, such as stakes in hundreds of small businesses. In some cases, Bankman-Fried invested in startups before they had developed a product, making it difficult to determine the value of the stake. FTX also owns a variety of real estate assets, including office buildings and warehouses, which are also hard to value.
The attorneys are now in the process of untangling these assets and attempting to determine how much money can be recovered to pay back lenders and consumers who lost billions of dollars in the once-promising cryptocurrency exchange. The process is expected to take several months and will require the cooperation of several parties, including the attorneys, creditors, and customers. It remains to be seen how much money can be recovered for those affected by FTX’s collapse.