(Bloomberg) — Officials in the Bahamas, where FTX.com is based, froze the assets of FTX Digital Markets while also appointing a liquidator. The freeze is a “prudent course of action” to preserve assets and stabilize the company, the Bahamas Securities Commission said in a statement on Thursday.
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Earlier, FTX.com founder Sam Bankman-Fried said that he’s closing Alameda Research, the trading house at the center of speculation about whether his crypto exchange mishandled customer funds. Trading may be halted in a few days on FTX US, which is a separate legal entity from FTX.com.
The crisis engulfing FTX snowballed this week, with rival Binance Holdings Ltd. agreeing to a hastily arranged rescue and then backing out a day later. US authorities are now investigating FTX’s dealings, Bloomberg News has reported, and Bankman-Fried has warned of bankruptcy if he can’t secure capital to cover a shortfall of as much as $8 billion.
Key stories and developments:
Inside FTX.US, Employees Are Trying to Sell Assets With SBF Away
In Sam Bankman-Fried, Venture Capitalists Saw a Model Founder (2)
FTX Retail Investors Fear Wipeout, Shaking Their Faith in Crypto
For crypto market prices: CRYP; for top crypto news: TOP CRYPTO
(All times are US Eastern Standard)
Bahamas Seeks to Place FTX.com Into Receivership (5:50 p.m.)
The Bahamas Securities Commission has frozen the assets of FTX Digital Markets “and related parties.” An asset freeze was “the prudent course of action” to preserve assets and stabilize the company, the agency said Thursday in a statement.
An attorney has been appointed provisional liquidator as the Bahamas securities regulator seeks to place the beleaguered crypto exchange into receivership.
“The commission is aware of public statements suggesting that clients’ assets were mishandled, mismanaged and/or transferred to Alameda Research. Based on the commission’s information, any such actions would have been contrary to normal governance, without client consent and potentially unlawful,” it said.
Ontario Teachers Says Investment in FTX Entities Was $95 million (3:40 p.m.)
The investments represent less than 0.05% of the assets of the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, according to a statement.
Junior Employees Try to Sell Assets With Bankman-Fried Away (2:20 p.m.)
Employees of the US-based crypto exchange are in talks about selling parts of the business, including some assets that Bankman-Fried amassed on a sweeping acquisition tear across the industry, according to two people with direct knowledge of the matter, who requested anonymity because the talks were private.
FTX Implosion Rattles Retail Investors (2:15 p.m.)
The demise of Bankman-Fried’s FTX.com is the worst-case scenario for retail traders who poured their life savings into crypto.
White House Is Monitoring Crypto Markets (1:52 p.m.)
The Biden administration is aware of recent developments surrounding cryptocurrencies and will “continue to monitor the situation,” White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters on Thursday.
Jean-Pierre said the White House believes cryptocurrency markets require “proper oversight,” but declined to comment on specific steps regulators can or should take.
“The most recent news further underscores these concerns and highlights why prudent regulation of cryptocurrencies is indeed needed,” Jean-Pierre said at her daily press briefing.
FTX US Says Trading May Be Halted in a Few Days (1:31 p.m.)
FTX US, the American entity of Bankman-Fried’s crypto exchange, said trading may be halted on it in a few days. FTX.com and FTX US are separate entities with separate management personnel, tech infrastructure, and licensing, but have similar owners and investors, representatives for the firms have said in the past.
FTX Reaches Pact With Tron to Let Users Withdraw Some Tokens (1:10 p.m.)
FTX said it reached an agreement with Justin Sun’s Tron that will allow users to withdraw some tokens from the troubled exchange.
Japan Cracks Down on Local FTX Unit; Freezes Exchange Activity (12:52 p.m.)
Japan’s government has ordered FTX.com’s local subsidiary to suspend some of its operations, saying it has no structure in place to properly offer cryptocurrency exchange services to users.
Crypto Entrepreneur Sun’s Token Jumps After Offer of Help to FTX (12:37 p.m.)
Tron founder Justin Sun said on Twitter early Thursday that his firm is working with FTX at address its liquidity crunch, without providing specific details. The price of the native token used on the Tron blockchain surged on the embattled platform.
FTX Resumes Withdrawals After Two-Day Pause (12:28 p.m.)
FTX.com has resumed withdrawals on the platform, according to blockchain data, after halting such activities on Tuesday. Nansen and Kaiko, another blockchain data firm, both confirmed the resumed activities. FTX processed $8 million worth of withdrawals in an hour on Thursday, Nansen said.
Bankman-Fried Shuts Down Trading Firm (11:40 a.m.)
Bankman-Fried is shutting down Alameda Research, the trading house at the heart of his digital-asset empire, as he seeks last-ditch financing to save his troubled crypto exchange FTX.
–With assistance from Yueqi Yang, Muyao Shen, Jordan Fabian, Takashi Nakamichi, Nao Sano, Philip Lagerkranser and Derek Decloet.
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