FTX may be making headlines again soon, and finally not for more details on their spectacular fall from grace, actually, the total opposite – their potential resurrection!
In April we broke the story of an FTX relaunch even being a possibility, when our source inside the new FTX team told us they were considering two options – to pay back what they can and then close for good, or, the more intriguing option, re-open FTX for trading.
At that time they had just begun researching sentiment among former users, asking if all their funds had been returned to them, and knowing Sam Bankman-Fried was gone for good, would they consider trading at FTX again?
Then, if they determined enough users would return, they would still need to convince their larger backers, some of whom are owed millions, to go awhile longer or accept a smaller payment at first. However, if they support FTX’s re-opening they could get 100% of their money back in the long run, because FTX would once again be generating profits.
That’s Where We Left Off, And We Now Have An Update…
According to our source, re-launching the exchange is now their ‘official’ goal, as they’ve been instructed to begin preparing as if it is happening for sure — an order that comes directly from new CEO John Ray.
“I’ll word it like this: it’s not 100%, but it just went from a 50/50 chance to probably a 90% chance of FTX re-launching” our insider explained, but they still have some challenges ahead “Right now we’re legally a bankrupt company, so we don’t have the freedom to just do something we want to, there’s additional oversight, and a process where we propose something and get approval to do it first.”
When asked if they believed they would receive that approval, they told us “I think John (CEO) wants to make sure the proposal leaves no reason to say no. They’ll want to see a company that fixed everything that went wrong under Sam, and see we’ve taken steps that would make a repeat impossible.” I asked how close they were to being able to make those claims, and was told, “We can say all that now and it would be completely true” Reminding him I still needed an answer to the question, they added, “oh, yeah – yes” (they think the re-launch would be approved).
This next part is a big deal – while I personally didn’t have funds on FTX when it shut down, a lot of people did. Since then, the media’s coverage of the situation would probably give people the impression that most of what they stored on FTX is gone.
But when I asked what kind of responses they received from former FTX users when mentioning a possible re-launch, I got a surprising answer “First, they say F-off and they would never use a platform that basically stole from them. Fair enough. But then you ask, what if they didn’t take anything from them? What if it opened and all the funds they left there were still there?”
‘Are you saying this is what would actually happen?’ I asked “I’m not in accounting, so I can’t say this is the case with 100% of accounts, but one thing you’ll probably be hearing if FTX re-launches or when Sam’s case goes to trial – he didn’t really mess with the FTX US funds”.
This Wasn’t a Total Surprise To Hear – It May Be Sam Bankman-Fried’s Secret Weapon…
Back at the beginning of the year when FBI agents brought Sam back to the US where he was arraigned and pled ‘not guilty’ to the charges against him it seemed like the response from the crypto community was ‘he’s a liar and that won’t work once he has a trial’.
But that made no sense to me. Sam’s parents are both literally famous lawyers and Stanford Law School professors – Sam takes their advice. So why would they advise him to fight the charges against him when shortly before his arrest he appeared on various podcasts admitting to misusing user funds – his point at the time was ‘I wasn’t stealing user funds, I just got confused, used funds that belonged to my users, and lost some of it.’.
I could only come up with one theory that made sense, and published ‘The Twisted Way Sam May Be Found INNOENT‘ which goes in to more detail, but basically the only way someone who already admitted so much on video could go to trial and stay out of prison is if he only misused funds belonging to non-US citizens, and only did that while at his company headquarters, which is also outside of the US, in the Bahamas.
What does the US justice department do when laws are broken in another country and none of the victims are American? Absolutely nothing.
Users finding out all the crypto they left on FTX is still there would be great news, which I said in our conversation, but as we suspected, they warned that non-US may have some bad news coming soon. “It’s the funds from FTX’s international platforms that Sam really screwed with.”our source said “We’re (his team) not involved with any of the international stuff, but several times I’ve had to talk with some of the guys that are. For the first few months they always sounded stressed out and exhausted, they were cleaning up one hell of a mess.”
But recently, even the team cleaning up the worst of it started to sound less miserable. “Last couple of times I talked to them, they seemed way more chill. Remember Bitcoin was at like $20k when FTX shut down, FTX is holding a lot of BTC and other coins that have gained almost $2 BILLION since trading stopped.” I didn’t really think of that until now, but it makes sense. “Yep, so that instantly becomes funds we can use towards making users whole, if the market continues this way, there’s a chance FTX won’t owe anyone anything”.
That really would be a great ending to an otherwise miserable story, if HODLing pays the rest of FTX’s debts.
It’s hard to say just how difficult a relaunch will be, the team must navigate a complex legal landscape of bankruptcy, and manage to meet all necessary requirements to gain approvals from an array of people both private and government sources.
All this is happening at a time when exchanges that haven’t had any major scandals are finding it challenging to operate in the US as seemingly incompetent leadership has taken over the agency that oversees them.
One thing is for sure – they seem truly confident in their ability to pull it off.
Part of me says ‘companies that go through what FTX has been through don’t just come back one day’… then I realized to company that went through what FTX did has ever even tried.