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Bankman-Fried addresses insolvency rumors amid Binance FTX token sell-off

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Crypto billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried’s cryptocurrency exchange FTX Trading Ltd. recently became the target of rumors of insolvency after competitor Binance Holdings Ltd. announced plans to liquidate its entire holdings of FTX’s native FTT tokens.

After the announcement, users also flocked to the exchange to begin withdrawing from their accounts, according to a report from Bloomberg.

Addressing concerns over potential insolvency, Bankman-Fried took to Twitter early this morning stating, “FTX is fine. Assets are fine.”

“FTX has enough to cover all client holdings,” Bankman-Fried wrote, adding that an unnamed “competitor” was going after the exchange with false rumors. “We don’t invest client assets (even in treasuries). We have been processing all withdrawals, and will continue to be.”

He added that he hoped Binance would work with the company on the token liquidation.

On Nov. 2, a report published by CoinDesk revealed that a leaked balance sheet from Alameda Research, a digital asset trading firm and sister company to FTX, listed over $3.66 billion in “unlocked FTT,” as its most significant asset, and $2.16 billion in “FTT collateral.” Amid the balance sheet’s total of $14.6 billion in assets, and $8 billion in liabilities, there were $7.4 billion in loans.

Caroline Ellison, chief executive of Alameda, responded that the leaked document was only partially complete and left out billions of dollars worth of other assets.

“The balance sheet breaks out a few of our biggest long positions; we obviously have hedges that aren’t listed,” Ellison added. “Given the tightening in the crypto credit space this year, we’ve returned most of our loans by now.”

Aside from the leaked documents potentially leading to Binance’s decision to liquidate its token holdings, Bankman-Fried drew criticism from the crypto community recently for his comments about regulation.

In October, he published an “industry norms manual,” which suggested that websites trading in decentralized finance should be more heavily regulated, including the need to censor transactions, create whitelists and more. This immediately sparked controversy and tension within the industry and drew criticism from industry experts.

Binance Chief Executive Changpeng “CZ” Zhao did not detail why the exchange is liquidating its FTT holdings, just that it is happening and that the entire process will take a few months to complete.

“As part of Binance’s exit from FTX equity last year, Binance received roughly $2.1 billion USD equivalent in cash (BUSD and FTT),” Zhao said. “Due to recent revelations that have came to light, we have decided to liquidate any remaining FTT on our books.”

Zhao also added that Binance is not part of the rumors and the liquidation is not intended to harm FTX, stating that it was “just post-exit risk management, learning from LUNA,” referring to the catastrophic collapse of the Terra-LUNA stablecoin ecosystem that wiped almost $60 billion dollars off the market.

Photo: Pixabay

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