SEC Chair Indicates FTX Revival, FTT Rallies
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Gary Gensler indicated a potential reboot of FTX during DC Fintech Week on Wednesday, prompting FTX’s digital token, FTT, to rally.
Gensler’s comments were made when referring to the bid for FTX by former president of the New York Stock Exchange and CEO of digital asset exchange Bullish, Tom Farley.
“If Tom or anybody else wanted to be in this field, I would say do it within the law,” Gensler reportedly said.
“Build the trust of investors in what you’re doing and ensure that you’re doing the proper disclosures – and also that you’re not comingling all these functions, trading against your customers,” Gensler continued. “Or using their crypto assets for your own purposes.”
FTT surged 84% following Gensler’s comments on the future of the crypto exchange, though is still down significantly from where it was two years ago.
Gensler’s statements come nearly a week after FTX founder, Sam Bankman-Fried, was found guilty on all seven charges brought against him in his landmark federal fraud case.
Bankman-Fried instructed his associates to allow FTX sister trading firm, Alameda Research, a $65 billion line of credit on the exchange as well as an “allow negative” feature that prevented it from ever being liquidated.
By the time FTX collapsed in November 2022, over $8 billion had been misappropriated at Bankman-Fried’s behest.
Attorney John Jay Ray III, who previously successfully returned $820 million to creditors of former American energy company Enron, has been tasked with cleaning up the defunct crypto exchange’s financials.
“Never in my career have I seen such a complete failure of corporate controls and such a complete absence of trustworthy financial information as occurred here,” Ray wrote in a 2022 court filing.
“It was an $8 billion hole, and he’s doing a masterful job of filling it,” Managing Partner at Psalion and CEO of Presearch.com, Inc., Tim Enneking, said of Ray.
If an amended settlement plan is approved by U.S. Bankruptcy Court by mid-2024, FTX customers would be expected to receive “over 90% of distributable value worldwide” in recovered funds.
Alongside fintech startup Figure Technologies and investment firm Proof Group, Farley is one of three bidders hoping to take the reins of FTX when it is expected to exit bankruptcy next year.
In a brief press conference following Bankman-Fried’s conviction, U.S. Attorney Damian Williams warned similar perpetrators to “cut it out,” claiming they “have enough handcuffs for all them.”
“Think about how many actors in this space are not complying right now with international sanctions and money laundering laws and are using crypto for nefarious or bad actions,” Gensler said.
Bankman-Fried’s defense team plans to appeal the verdict. The disgraced crypto exchange founder is expected back in court for his sentencing in March 2024.