New FTX CEO Considers Restarting the Exchange

  • The new CEO of FTX, John J. Ray III, told the Wall Street Journal that had formed a task force to explore the option of restarting the international exchange.
  • Ray noted he was willing to revive the platform if that could recover more value for the company’s customers than liquidating its assets.
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The new CEO of bankrupt crypto exchange FTX, John J. Ray III, is exploring the option of restarting the FTX.com platform as a way to return more value to customers, the Wall Street Journal reported on 19 January.

According to the publication, Ray has already set up a task force to look into the possibility of reviving FTX’s international exchange — one of the 130 FTX Group companies that filed for bankruptcy in November — and if that would recover more value for the company’s customers than liquidating its assets or outright selling the platform. The new CEO noted that everything is on the table, and that “if there is a path forward on that, then we will not only explore that, we’ll do it”.

Ray also said that despite the criminal accusations made against former CEO Sam Bankman-Fried and other executives, customers have praised the technology of the platform, suggesting there could be value in rebooting FTX.com. So far, Ray and his team were able to identify $5.5 billion in liquid assets connected to FTX.com and FTX.US, in what he called a “Herculian effort” to untangle the firm’s finances.

During his interview with the WSJ, Ray also criticized Sam Bankman-Fried’s behaviour, noting that his comments were “unhelpful and self-serving” and that there was “no need to be dialoguing with him”. Shortly after the article was published, Bankman-Fried took to Twitter to give his opinion:

During a “pre-mortem overview” of FTX on 12 January, Bankman-Fried said it was a mistake for the exchange to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, and that if FTX was to “reboot” there was a possibility to reimburse customers with its current assets. The disgraced CEO was arrested in the Bahamas in December, and later charged with eight counts of wire fraud, securities fraud, and violations of campaign finance laws, to which he has pleaded not guilty.

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