In a surprise development, bankruptcy lawyers say that FTX customers – once considered to have lost almost everything – are now expected to get their money back in full from the remains of the cryptocurrency company …
The collapse of FTX
Crypto exchange FTX collapsed back in 2022, after it was discovered that customer funds, which should have been fully protected, were illegally used to make risky investments.
At the time, those investments were deep into the red, wiping out all the assets held by the company, and it was feared that customers would never get their money back.
FTX was declared bankrupt, and former CEO Sam Bankman-Fried was found guilty of all seven criminal charges against him, including conspiracy to commit wire fraud, securities fraud, commodities fraud, and money laundering. He faces a sentence of up to 115 years in prison.
FTX customers to get their money back in full
CNBC reports that prospects for former customers have since dramatically improved. Overall, the investments which had crashed in value at the time have since fully recovered – and that means that funds can be returned to customers.
Lawyers representing the bankruptcy estate of FTX told a judge in Delaware last week that they expect to fully repay customers and creditors with legitimate claims. Bankruptcy attorney Andrew Dietderich, who works with FTX’s new leadership team, said “there is still a great amount of work and risk” ahead in getting all the money back to clients, but that the team has a “strategy to achieve it.”
But with a fairly big asterisk
While it will doubtless be a huge relief to customers to recover their funds, whether the money is being repaid “in full” is a matter of perspective.
At the time of the collapse, Bitcoin was trading at around $16k, and they will be recovering that value. But the value of Bitcoin has since risen to almost $48k, so if their funds had remained in Bitcoin, they’d have three times as much money by now.
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